How I fell in love with coaching again; A letter to myself…


You are 26, playing good rugby, and have your sights on moving up. You are also coaching high school and a provincial rep team. You will become injured. Injured to the extent that the sports doc is not sure that you will ever walk properly again. Your playing career is deemed over. You become depressed and the chronic pain leads to a dependency on meds. You will have a hard time with anything to do with rugby and you will walk away. You feel abandoned by your sport and even watching your sisters play, leaves you sobbing on your way home. Your coach reaches out and you shove him away, years later he is still a huge part of your rugby. You will learn that he never gave up on you and you will pay this forward later on.


Your depression causes you to withdraw from friends and family and you will enter into an unhealthy relationship that will isolate you from your past relationships. Rugby becomes not allowed; as it has nothing to do with horses. To prevent conflict, you comply, and you will become numb. Hang on as eventually this numbness shows you how to be grateful. You will gain weight, as you self medicate its how you cope. Don’t dwell on it – it will go away.


This situation will teach you resiliency, what you actually need from a man, and will lead you into an amazing career. This career will allow you to coach in the future.


After he cheats, plays head games and abuses your heart one last time; you will leave. Starting over will be hard, it will hurt, but it is the best lesson you will ever learn. You become independent again, you remember why you love horses. And you start to reconnect with old friends from rugby. You will have a strong distrust of men, do not worry – this will also fade away.


Your past coaching mentor passes away, as does your past coach. Both tragically. You will realize the influence they had on you. When you return to coaching, you will embrace that they are always with you and that you reach back to their wisdom every day.


Eventually you end up in the Calgary area. And you will reconnect with two old rugby friends who; you discover; still love you. They both give you the opportunity to coach again. You even meet a kick ass team of women, and you get to play a bit as well. Playing heals some old wounds and catches you up on the changes in the game. Forever you will be grateful to these ladies in black and yellow.


The men from your past will harp, push and refuse to let you withdraw. You will cry, fight, get mad and they will not let you go again. They both introduce you to new friends that will support you in both your dark and light days to come. There will be a winter day when you don’t get out of bed, they will pull you out as they need you to be their coach and their friend. It will feel amazing to be needed again.


You will coach – for a short time – an amazing representative team of young ladies. The pride you feel seeing them have success on and off the field is unlike anything you have felt in forever. These ladies have more influence on you, than you do on them. Their feedback becomes invaluable and it allows you to hold your ground and set boundaries with others.


Through coaching you will end up with an amazing family of men, these men remind you what good men are. They become brothers, fathers and more to you. The Knights will give you opportunity to value sport again, your confidence will bloom and you will build back your rhino skin. You will feel again; that feeling when someone falls in love with your game, when they defy odds and do what others never thought they could. You get to be in a rugby family again. You are able to trust again. For this you will be grateful every day.


You will re build your relationship with your sisters, make new and stronger female coaching friends, and be able to work as a team with all of them. The Knights will reap the rewards of this network of amazing women coaches.


You will end up writing about coaching, you will get to coach with your new mentors and most of all – you get to co coach with one of the most amazing people you will ever meet. He will push you, yet not let you fall. It teaches you that you do not need to be scared of success anymore – that no one will resent you for it. You will remember what it feels like to coach as a team, and that you missed it.


You will have the opportunity to be amazingly joyful and you will fall back in love with rugby and coaching. Just sit tight, take care of you and hold space for it.



Bio: Tina Prescott is a Level 2 Certified NCCP and Rugby Canada Coach from Carstairs, Alberta Canada.  She is the Head Coach to the Calgary Mavericks U – 18 Ladies Rugby and Assistant Coach to Calgary Knights Rugby Football Club Sr. Mens Team

In high school and college, Tina took part in lots of sports including swimming and track&field (sprinter) with her most success in rugby having played senior women’s rugby for 13 years and being forced to retire due to injury.