Last post I mentioned how I was dreading going to Scranton, PA. George and I met in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area and being back there so soon after he died felt exactly like what I thought it would feel like; horrible with barreling anxiety on top of it.
We got there Thursday night and my nerves were really tangled. I was excited for our game but yearning to get the trip over and done with. On Friday I woke up and started watching game film to distract my mind just hours before the game. As game time neared, I could no longer hide my anxiety from my team. I was shaking, tearing, and being very quiet. I suppose it could have been mistaken for focus but my mind wasn’t on the game. It was on how badly I wanted to leave the region, and how everything around me was painful reminders of my love.
When we got to the field, I was damn near trembling. I had written my line up and Scranton’s tendencies on attack, midfield and defense, and also wrote out my pregame speech. Reading the pregame speech is easily one of my favorite things to do cause I like firing the team up. But I barely mustered the words to recite their tendencies. I looked out at my team, and my hands could barely hold the notebook anymore. I put my head down and said, “I can’t read my speech, I can’t do this, my anxiety is horrendous. I want to win.” I grabbed my things off the bus, walked to the bathroom and locked myself in there for several minute just bawling.
Once the game was underway my nerves started to steady and I was just focused on doing the best as I could as a coach. Encouraging and correcting as the game went on. We ended up winning by 1 goal in the final 9 seconds.
It’s the best W I’ve ever experienced so far as a coach. I’m the short one on the right.