The potential of aging


My best friend’s 16-year old daughter is facing one of the toughest decisions of her young life. Jennifer is a scholar and a talented soccer player, ranked sixth in her state, destined for a scholarship to a Division I school. Like most talented players who want to hone their skills in the off-season, Jennifer joined a traveling team led by a Division I college coach. Soon thereafter, the team was on its way to a winning season, and Jennifer was the star player. In an effort to motivate the players, the coach employed cruel tactics, and since Jennifer was his “best” player, she was his prime target. Interventions by her parents and others did not result in any change; Jennifer asked her parents if she could quit the team. She was not taking the decision lightly. She loved soccer, but now the experience was no longer fun; rather, it was emotionally upsetting. Jennifer asked herself some tough questions. How will my teammates feel if I quit? Will my leaving affect the team’s...