For the Love of the Game

521974_517023424987067_745421541_nDear Coach… Sincerely, Every Parent

Dear Coach,
Here is my child, a player for your team. This is difficult for me because I am entrusting you with a child I love more than life itself. It seems silly that a volunteer with 8 games and 6 practices can shape my child’s life, but it’s true. So coach, there are a few things I wanted you to know and that I hoped you would share with my child.

Teach my child to win gracefully, but more importantly teach my child to lose with even greater dignity.

Know that my child takes what you say to heart so please choose your words carefully and tread lightly.

School is hard for my child and life hasn’t been so easy lately. This sport is the one thing that makes my child smile.

Sitting on the sidelines stinks, we both know this. I realize that my child is not your best player but please, coach, notice the effort. It’s possible that my child could surprise us all someday.

My child can be a pest, sometimes whiny, sometimes out of control. You have my permission to teach my child the consequences of inappropriate actions.

If my child gets hurt in the game, please look for me in the stands, I am the one whose heart has stopped beating.

Please help me teach my child the kind of sportsmanship that will carry far beyond what happens on a playing field.
As a parent, watching my child can be excruciating, I want to protect, but as a spectator I’ve been rendered helpless. My child’s successes and failures are out there for everyone to see. Help me to keep my perspective.

Most of all please teach my child that this is only a game, that there will be plenty more. Ask my child to work hard, to give their best effort and especially to have fun.

Through your words and actions show my child what it means to “love the game”. Thank you coach, for all you do, your time, patience and influence… It will last a lifetime.

Sincerely,
Every Parent

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5 responses to “For the Love of the Game

  1. Wow that’s a great one Lisa. I hadn’t thought about it that much but your comments on impact are true. I distinctly remember several coaches frOm grade school. Good reminder as t-ball season is winding up!

  2. Thanks Mark….When I give this workshop, I ask the audience to quote a former coach, most can instantaneously tell me something they heard 20, 30, 40 years ago! Good luck with T-ball!

  3. Great letter, thanks for posting!

    When sending a child to school and entrusting the child to the care of a teacher, it is reasonable for a parent to expect that the teacher’s resume includes an extensive background in training and experience. Typically, teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree, usually in education. They have spent hours under the tutelage of other teachers and assisting in classrooms and are well prepared when it is their time to teach on their own. When sending a child to a sport team and entrusting the child to the care of a coach, a parent usually has no idea whether the coach has any training or experience:

    In most cases it is because they have a son or daughter who is interested in the sport and needs a coach to organize a team. Coaches learn from personal experience on teams. There are hundreds of books covering the fundamentals of sports, but very few teach coaches skills such as teaching, mentoring, conflict resolution, and social development.

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