30 Bananas a Day!

This is more of a rant...

No matter what I say or how much I eat... he will never believe in this life style.  Constantly  commenting on everything I ate and then not letting me eat dinner because he wanted to explain how I am "not getting enough protein" and then going on and on and on about the damages a vegan lifestyle will do.  I could not eat dinner because I too busy trying to stop myself from crying.  And the other coach (Lutz) just sat there and watched the whole thing... I looked over at him and he did not do anything (because he probably agreed with everything Krause said).  For a little while I thought I actually was stupid and was cook grain vegan for a couple days. 
Now I am back home and the official season does not start for 2 weeks so I get some time to workout on my own and not have to worry about his judgment.
I want to quite the team now, but I will not because I am his first vegan athlete and what will it say (or do) to the future vegan athletes if I quite.  I do not want them to go though the same @#$% I am going though.  I need to be the best on his team, but the closer I get the more he bullies me, and I cannot do anything about it without risking getting kicked off the team.  Right now I am probably in the top ten girls on a team of about 200 high schoolers (approximately half are girls). 
How do I get over this and how do I get better?
The sport is cross country by the way.

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I agree that having a parent/aunt/uncle/older relative, contact him in a clam manner to tell him to back off a bit is smart. I would always take the step of having someone contact him directly before "going to his superiors", getting him to change his behavior is more important than trying to get him fired. If he doesn't chill a bit, then have mom make the angry call. Consider escalating the issue at that point.

This is not a situation to walk away from, as it is very common. This is the same thing as dealing with an angry boss, a business deal gone wrong, a difficult relationship decision. Don't walk away from this situation, learn how to deal with it in a mature manner. Its called "conflict resolution", and you can either learn it now, or learn it in 20 years. 

Here are important steps to take:

1. Try to explain yourself calmly, rationally, confidently, while "answering his objections". It sounds like you already did this or he isn't very irrational. 

2. Get a feel for how much this matters...if he brings it up only occasionally then maybe this isn't a huge deal, just have someone give him a phone call about it. There are lots of freelance nutritionists roaming this site...if it comes to it, having one of them contact the coach directly as your friend, isn't a terrible idea, as long as they are a laid back person and not a hot head.

3. If this situation keeps happening over and over again, and you feel it could be a big distraction before a big meet or actually effect your performance, keep digging to find different options at your disposal to deal with this. I mean, how much does the subject of diet really come up?

For what its worth, I was a decent college basketball prospect, one of the best high school players in my area, playing in one of the world's most competitive basket ball regions (southern california southern section) a large # of players I played with, went on to play at top colleges, play professional overseas, or to have careers in the NBA. At  the start of my senior year of high school though, as the best player,...I just walked away from the team, and never came back.

At the very least, I would have gotten free tuition to go to college, which is easily worth US $40,000 or more. So I ended up training to be a college basketball player as though it was my job from the age of 10 to 17, but when it was time for me to reap the benefits of all my hard work, I walked away and ended up being the person who lost out.

At the time I had a very strained relationship with the coach and I thought that was the main issue. I hated my high school basketball coach's guts.

Looking back though I just had far too many personal issues (death in family, years of abuse, hostile and violent living environment etc), traumatic stuff I was dealing with, and it wasn't possible to be 17, work full time, take care of myself completely, and perform in sports at a high level. I could have done it with a support network, family helping me, but as it was, Im just proud of how I handled everything that happened given how young I was. 

Seven years after quitting basketball, out of shape, and several major injuries later, I tried out for a Division 1 school, and still almost made the team, so that actually says a lot.

During college try outs, 2000 miles away, I actually ran into my high school coach, who I had hated for years...and I thanked him. I told him, how I appreciated the fact that he was the only person who cared enough about me to be hard on me, have expectations, and give me discipline. I told him about how terribly my family situation was at that time and that even though I hated rules and discipline at the time, he had taught me a lot of valuable lessons that had really changed my life.

Its all a matter of perspective. 

Thank you for the steps... next time I have to deal with it I will refer to the last part of step two.

And thank you for telling me your life story about your family and your coach.  That really meant a lot to me.  I know I will never stop running, and now I also know it would not be worth quitting the team.  I love running and I should not let Krause ruin that for me!

  1. Talk to your coach calmly, use logic to explain what you do, and why you do it (he isn’t rational so this didn’t work)
  2. 2.       Express to your coach how speaking with him makes you feel uncomfortable.

    3.       Express to your coach what you define as your “boundary”, and what you consider “harassment” giving him the chance to not harass you too much.

    4.       Have a family member reach out to the coach calmly with a call or email to explain that your diet is not negotiable.

    5.       Have a family member call or meet with your coach in a more “animated manner” to set clear boundaries. 

  3. 6. Let your coach know that if this continues you will be "escalating the issue". 

At this point if the issue continues, I would ask yourself whether or not you believe you are being “harassed”. “Harassment” would mean that there is more to it than his disagreement with your diet. This means that he is being abusive to you with his words, actions or behaviors. This would include offensive language, inappropriate suggestions, language or behavior that is physically threatening, etc.Are other student athletes being bullied as well? What specifically occurred with them? Have these issues been documented/recorded? Will anyone go on record? What day and time did they occur? 

What options do you have? How much do you have to interact with him on a weekly basis? What does or doesn’t he respond to? How much longer will you have to tolerate this? Is transferring to another school an option? What impact is your relationship with your coach having on your performance? What impact could it have on your life moving forward?

 

Spend time thinking things over and processing your options. A lot of times in these types of situations, people either run away from the conflict, or overreact to the situation in a way that makes the problem worse rather than acknowledging the emotions and responding  with a series of steps to bring about a resolution.

 

I suggest checking out some links about Conflict Resolution at Work, people dealing with their bosses. Hopefully in a few years you will be able to look back at this situation as something you learned lessons from that will help you at work and in your personal relationships. Focus on the big picture and the process if possible. If you have any questions or anything I can help with, please let me know. 

http://www.wikihow.com/Resolve-a-Conflict-at-Work

http://www.ehow.com/how_2330708_resolve-conflicts-boss.html

Thanks for the advise... I do not predict it will get to step 6 though, but know I now I know I have multipe options against him

Every situation is a little different, but the process is the same. 

Here is how my incident with my old coach ended. I had a lot of personal issues and walked away from organized sports. I have no regrets at all, my issues ultimately had a lot more to do with my family than my coach.

One year later, a group of upper middle class parents from that neighborhood, formed a group, and went after the coach. I was not in any way involved with what they did, I only found out after the fact. I was used as one example of the coach failing the kids, but I was more of a side note. Their case was built around him being too aggressive, erratic, and some minor incidents that had occurred with his new players (he threw basketballs at kid's head/screamed like a military sergeant, that type of thing). They got him fired from his 15 years as coach and teacher, and ran him out of town.

Did they go too far? Maybe, I can't really say. He gave me years of world class training with top athletes and instilled in me a discipline that has helped me to this day. In the off season, he had me doing 5 days of track work, plyometrics in the pool and a full weight training program. He was the first person in my life that held me to a higher standard, pushed me to be my best, and showed me how to break myself down in order to build myself up. If I had parents and didn't have to live on my own at that time, or even just a mentor, there is a good chance I would have thrived in his system. I have no ill will toward him at all, and greatly appreciate all the things he did for me. 

I try to look at everything as a learning experience.

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