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Let The Players Play, Let The Coaches Coach

1717 words - 7 pages

The drive for an athlete to succeed is affected by the player’s relationship with their coach. For Rosie Ferguson, J. Peter Billings was a handsome coach whom Rosie was deeply attracted to. When referring to Peter, Rosie, “basked in his attention and tried to play so well and so hard that he would stay” (6), hoping she could perform to her best level just to keep Peter engaged in her matches. In Crooked Little Heart, and many times in literature such as in Golden Boy, both the play and movie, athletes perform for the hope to be recognized by their coach. Rosie and her doubles partner Simone Duvall occasionally received attention from Peter if his boys played in the same tournament. But if ...view middle of the document...

She knew Peter would not be back for several matches and Rosie showed her irritation when, “Elizabeth watched Rosie whack a rock out of her way with…the two-hundred-fifty-dollar racquet” (102). However, this summer would be different than before while Peter was gone because Luther, a mysterious man who always watched Rosie’s matches, stepped up to the plate as a second “coach” for Rosie.
In the play, Golden Boy, Joe started off on the wrong foot racing into Tom’s office without knocking which started a difficult relationship. Joe tried to explain to Tom he can fight and spitefully Tom asked Joe, “…Who the hell are you? And who the hell are you to call me Tom? Are we acquainted?” (8). Tom was already heated from the news that his best boxer had a broken hand; however, Joe keeps pushing his luck with Tom. Joe assertively told Tom, “I’m waiting for your answer. There are forty-three thousand minutes in a month-can’t you give me five?” (8). Tom also does not want Joe, a boy he just met, calling him Tom until acquainted and it shows when Tom says to Joe, “Call me Tom again and I’ll break your neck!!” (11). Tom was not happy to hear his best fighter had a broken hand and Tom certainly did not want to let the boy who caused the broken hand to take his fighter’s place.
But as any cautious parent would agree, Elizabeth was afraid of Luther and kept a close eye on him and Rosie hoping there was no connection between the two of them. Elizabeth, “…felt scared of her having any connection with him at all. She wondered…if Rosie missed Luther when he didn’t show…[and]…if Rosie felt more drawn to him now that Peter was away” (107). It showed for Rosie that Luther was in the place of Peter. During a match with Donna Brooks, “Rosie could have cried…while her own mother was home acting spaced out and odd, and J. Peter Billings was three thousand miles away. And in their place was Luther” (149). Luther valued watching Rosie’s matches and specifically focused entirely on Rosie, while Elizabeth was not in agreement with the occurrence.
Similar to the play, in the movie Golden Boy, Joe’s aspiration of boxing takes an unexpected turn when Tom and his owner Roxy barge in on Joe playing violin and Joe tells Tom, “Well I’ve been thinking I might give up fighting. I’m not convinced it’s what I want. Irritated with Joe’s statement, Tom raised his voice to Joe, “Oh don’t get on your high horse, we’re talking for your own good.” In his own defense, Joe told Tom “If I fight I fight the way I want… In fact I’m through right now.” Joe did not necessarily want to give up boxing, but the pressure from Tom barging in set Joe off. Tom needed Joe to keep boxing so he could afford a wedding but Joe is not buying into Tom’s desire.
Rosie missed Peter while he was gone, “fantasiz[ing] about their reunion…Peter…then stepped back to size her up and see if she’d grown” (237). Rosie’s relationship with Peter was kind of like a father. They had their joke when Peter would step back to...

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