At 17, Mary Cain was already a record-breaking phenom: the fastest girl in a generation, and the youngest American track and field athlete to make a World Championships team. In 2013, she was signed by the best track team in the world, Nike’s Oregon Project, run by its star coach Alberto Salazar.
Then everything collapsed. Her fall was just as spectacular as her rise, and she shares that story for the first time in the Video Op-Ed above.
Instead of becoming a symbol of girls’ unlimited potential in sports, Cain became yet another standout young athlete who got beaten down by a win-at-all-costs culture. Girls like Cain become damaged goods and fade away. We rarely hear what happened to them. We move on.
These 2 quotes below from the story remind me of the Atlanta United discussion that we had a couple of weeks ago on the forum. Do these thoughts apply equally to being at a place like the Atlanta United Academy?
1. “When you’re training in a program like this, you’re constantly reminded how lucky you are to be there, how anyone would want to be there, and it’s this weird feeling of, ‘Well, then, I can’t leave it. Who am I without it?’” Goucher said. “When someone proposes something you don’t want to do, whether it’s weight loss or drugs, you wonder, ‘Is this what it takes? Maybe it is, and I don’t want to have regrets.’ Your careers are so short. You are desperate. You want to capitalize on your career, but you’re not sure at what cost.”
2. We don’t typically hear from the casualties of these systems — the girls who tried to make their way in this system until their bodies broke down and they left the sport. It’s easier to focus on bright new stars, while forgetting about those who faded away. We fetishize the rising athletes, but we don’t protect them. And if they fail to pull off what we expect them to, we abandon them.
Last Edit: Nov 7, 2019 12:09:13 GMT -5 by mightydawg
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Big Booty: did not know your coach was laid off but u are still an idiot duuude. you are still a nightmare parent, take your lil johnny and go somewhere else
May 26, 2020 19:36:34 GMT -5
Guest20: AFC and MOBA fields are flooded with SSA Coweta kids, what happened?
May 28, 2020 20:19:27 GMT -5
AtlStr21: So have the little fish finally surrendered to the big fish? Bon apetite
May 29, 2020 16:41:11 GMT -5
GKR: SCCL spots from Club to P2 advertised in the forum makes me wonder how strong those teams will be.
May 31, 2020 18:09:59 GMT -5
slickdaddy96: Guest20, well first of all since SSA didn't hold tryouts (which was dumb) parents took kids to AFC/MOBA to survey the other clubs and get a free workout. I know that is why I did it for my own kid.
Jun 1, 2020 6:59:45 GMT -5
slickdaddy96: Guest20, Also since some age groups may not have enough kids for teams @ SSA Coweta, I believe some parents may be hedging their bets to make sure their kids has a spot somewhere.They got rid of Josh Villalobos down there & a majority loved him....
Jun 1, 2020 7:01:32 GMT -5
slickdaddy96: ...some are pretty pissed of how he was treated by SSA and are going elsewhere due to it. That is my opinion. Opinions do vary though. Doesn't really matter most MOBA teams were almost full, they should consider multiple teams in some age groups
Jun 1, 2020 7:02:44 GMT -5
slickdaddy96: Most AFC teams looked to be full as well, so honestly not very many places for SSA Coweta kids to fall. Most will have to be back or quit playing. AFC/MOBA play GA Soccer so there is going to be a step down in competition anyway....
Jun 1, 2020 7:04:35 GMT -5
slickdaddy96: I have actually heard of a lot of MOBA/AFC kids in different age groups contact SSA for team info as well due to wanting to be in SCCL over the sinking ship of GA Soccer Athena/Classic.
Jun 1, 2020 7:05:11 GMT -5
onestepbeyond: Sorry slickdaddy96 but SSA below ECNL and DA is garbage. Coweta absolute joke. Both MOBA and AFC have far better coaches, better teams and better fields.
Jun 1, 2020 9:54:45 GMT -5
onestepbeyond: See you in USL-A
Jun 1, 2020 9:59:39 GMT -5
slickdaddy96: Well considering the majority of their DA kids are now playing on the NPL team, and the NPL team was not to shabby, and most of them will go down to SCCL-C. I think they will be fine and are far from garbage. Coweta isn't a joke just seems like it is an..
Jun 1, 2020 10:26:01 GMT -5
slickdaddy96: afterthought for SSA. Maybe this new director will clean it up.
Jun 1, 2020 10:26:18 GMT -5
atlfutboldad: Take it to a thread.
Jun 1, 2020 11:56:18 GMT -5
hot momma: Good or bad? My daughter was told by an ECNL club that she would be placed on the U19 Composite team but she would likely get some play time on the top U19 team.
Jun 3, 2020 9:01:47 GMT -5
futbalatl: What is wrong with people ranking and comparing 08 girls teams? This is insane.
Jun 3, 2020 9:16:59 GMT -5
Yes: Agreed. Insane.
Jun 3, 2020 10:18:08 GMT -5
Futsal Gawdess: How bored/meaningless is your life that u dedicate time assessing, comparing & rating 11/12 year old girls, especially considering they move from 9v9 to 11v11 so all commentary is conjecture at best. In 6-8 months, the results will say it all 🙄
Jun 5, 2020 8:15:02 GMT -5
Futsal Gawdess: While we're at it, ranking the ECNL boys teams is also a fool's errand 🙄
Jun 5, 2020 8:16:37 GMT -5
Goalkeeper Dad: That not what I was hearing from the some of the coaches and players, but it sounds like you have a better insight to that team then I do. Guess we will find out once the rosters are posted. Either way I heard they will be good. Those team were good last
Jun 5, 2020 12:53:35 GMT -5