This weekend I'm going to my 30th high school reunion. Boy does time fly when you're having fun. This reunion has stirred memories from my high school past when soccer was my great passion. It was my dream to master my sport, and one-day play professionally. During my freshman year Coach Layton (not his real name) was the varsity coach and he apparently saw some talent in me. At first I was honored that he would let a lowly freshman like me practice with the varsity players. He inflated my hopes with comments about the possibility of playing on the varsity team soon. However, it didn’t take long before Coach Layton began berating me in practice, and playing with my mind as he moved me from junior varsity practice to the varsity practice and back again. He would raise my hopes as he told me to suit up for the varsity game, then dash my hopes by never putting me in the game, and finally tear me down by criticizing my play after the JV game. I wanted to be appreciated for what skill I had. I wanted to improve, to play with the big guys, and help our team win. Instead I found myself berated and criticized to the point that I became a player wracked with doubts and suspicious of everything my coach said and did. By the time Coach Layton actually made me a varsity player during my sophomore year, I became a tentative, ineffective and anxious athlete who didn’t like or trust my coach. It only took one season with one toxic coach to turn me into a largely ineffective athlete. I’m certain many of you reading this post have had Coach Layton’s in your life experience. Think about the "Coach Layton's" in your life. How did they treat you? How does that affect you today?