Reputation is what we are known for, especially for those who don’t know us well. Personally, I was known for being a not so good soccer coach and a good soccer player. Obviously, I appreciate the latter one much more. I used to be a crazy basketball fan and even skipped classes to play basketball in high school. But an arm injury made me unable to play basketball for an entire year which tortures me a lot. Being unsatisfied to sit beside the basketball court, watching them play, I decided to try soccer. “I have nothing else to do, anyway” I told myself. Once I walk onto the grass, I find myself really have some talent at it. In the first soccer game, I get two goals and an assist which make everyone surprised. “seriously, this is your first game?” I really enjoyed when they asked me like that. After that, many friends who used to play basketball with me join us and day by day, we have more students on the soccer field than the basketball court.

Reputation is not something to be given but something to be earned. With more and more students playing soccer at school, I think it a right time to organize a soccer team to take part in the summer league in our city. After negotiating with our teacher, we are allowed to participate in the league but we have to find a coach. Unlike in US, we usually don’t have an coach except basketball team, having no choice, we have to select someone from us. Without hesitation, I stand out and asked to be the coach. With the support of the teacher and students, we establish a team of 12 players to take part in the summer league. To be best prepared for the coming games, we practiced together twice a week and gathered at 8 am to practice, two weeks before the beginning. I could say that is the best team I have ever been in in my life.

Arrogance is the most ignored output of reputation. Being the new one in the league, we are not paid much attention to, when chatting with other coaches in the preparing meeting, I could tell the indifference from their ‘warm welcome’. But I try to talk with all of them to get as much information as I could. Being not surprised, the first game is an easy, cozy 2:0 and we are unstoppable in the rest until the final. Sometimes, keeping winning is building up your reputation and destroying it at the same time and the difference is I was the one being arrogant this time. Most of us start playing soccer only a few months ago, we are not good at controlling the ball. The reason that we are unstoppable before is that most teams are not familiar with us and we can make the most of our advantage in basketball, running fast and jumping high. Unfortunately, our competitor in the final is the champion of last year’s summer league, famous for their technique on controlling the ball and they have a real coach. The first half is like a daily practice for them, though they only score one, anyone can tell that they are in control of the game and ready to hunt in the second half. In the break before the second half, one of benches told me we should change our midfield player and try to take the control of ball back. Although knowing our problem and why we are losing, I lost my mind to bluster back:” I am the coach, not you, we will speed up and win !” The second half is a slaughter.

They say losing reputation is a good start to listen to others. I admitted my mistake and said sorry to my teammate after the game. In the next term, we get a real coach and instead of being the one controlling the team, I try my best to be the one connects everyone together on the field.



  1. profarvan · November 30, 2014

    This post was late but I will count it because we haven’t yet discussed personal reputations in class.

    I gather from the way you told this story that for the other teams in the soccer league the coach was somebody older, perhaps a teacher at some other school. You didn’t talk about age differential in this post, but might your reputation with the other coaches have depended on that more than anything else?

    Also, it seems from the story that your team didn’t lose until the championship game, and then to a better team. It is not clear to me why that outcome would impact your reputation at all, unless the people around you actually expected to win that championship game. If you were the underdog, which seems reasonable to me given their success the previous year, I would not interpret the outcome in the championship game as a failure and therefore a cause to lose your reputation.

    It is true that you lost your cool at the the end of the first half and snapped at the player who made the suggestion. That sometimes happen in the heat of the moment. We are not always graceful when under pressure. But, again, that shouldn’t be a cause to lose one’s reputation, as everyone understands what stress will do. It take more willful negative behavior to cause a loss of reputation.


    • shiyuchen1992 · December 2, 2014

      Sorry for being late, I thought it was due on Thanksgiving but I was wrong. I misunderstood your joke in class. Yes, it is true that I lost the game because of the lack of experience and it seems not a big deal for most people. I think it is my strong self-esteem and serious love on soccer make me feel so guilty and shamed that I thought I lost my reputation. Actually, I thought I grow up with this problem, always taking too many things too serious and always seeking for better results make it difficult to convince myself that I did enough.


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