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Dear Coach, Thank You For All The Things I Haven’t Said

Dear Coach,

Hey there, it’s me, just another parent of one of your players. I never really talk to you except in passing, but I want to take a moment to say a few things beyond my standard “good game” and “thank you.” Because, really, when I say those things, I mean so much more and my reference to the “good game” goes far beyond the game itself as does my “thank you.”

Thank you for your resilience and perseverance even when the spectators (parents), players, and the game get intense and challenging.

I’ve seen you work, and you are doing something more than just great. You are teaching the value of hard work, determination, and resilience. This training goes beyond this sport. This training is for life, too, and life gets really hard sometimes. And so, I stay back and let my kid learn through the seasons of good and hard times.

Thank you for your time, dedication, and the investment you have committed to my kid and all the players.

Your expertise goes beyond your knowledge of the sport to include your coaching methods, pep talks, and ability to connect with each player, which continues to make a positive impact on my kid and the whole team.

Your influence extends beyond play in games and practices—it’s in the building of my player’s confidence, character, diligence in academics, self-discipline, and courage to try new things.

Thank you for recognizing when they do well, and congratulating them when their hard work results in successes and victories.

Your support along with their hard-earned successes and victories ripple out beyond the game, the sport, and into life. And you saying “good job” has a more profound impact on my kid than me saying it.

Thank you for being respectful of and speaking truth to my kid even when it is hard for them to hear.

You have not left my kid hanging, but told them straight when they didn’t make the team. You have provided them specific feedback so they can learn what they need to do to improve. Thank you for noticing what needs to happen for them to get better. Thank you for being real with them, seeing their potential, and helping them determine their goals. Your feedback and mentorship inspire them to press on and do their best.

Thank you for being available to listen to and to notice when there are changes in my kid.

Your consistency and dedication to their growth and development goes beyond the sport. You press them to keep going when life gets hard, and they want to give up. You teach them the value of balance, priorities, and accountability. Not all coaches do this, but this a priceless gift that you have.

Thank you for being a life saver though you probably do not even know it.

During a difficult season, when my kid was defiant, angry, and disheartened towards life, they would still show up for your practices willing to work hard. And when my kid wanted to give up and was not motivated by anything anymore, nothing I said or did could reach them. Yet, they kept showing up for your team and for your coaching. During that time, your words mattered more than mine. You challenged them and were tough on them. You took them as they came, and your coaching, your love of the sport, and all the physical and mental training made a huge difference. You inspired hope and got them to laugh again. This is still a work in progress, and I am so thankful.

Thank you for giving my kid a purpose and a place to fit in when they needed one.

You saw their value and included them. You taught them a skill and coached them how to get better, and they did. This built their confidence, which they will carry with them through life. They have been both starters and reserve players, but they have always been part of the team. Thanks for giving them a chance and believing in them. This has mattered greatly to them. It has mattered greatly to me.

Thank you for all you have taught them about self-discipline, hard work, teamwork, humility, sportsmanship, respect, and the value of practice.

They have learned to be accountable to the team, rising to the standard you set. This has proved to help them exponentially in other areas, too. They now have more skills, strategies, and resources to pull from to navigate through the game on the field and the game of life. Your investment will help them become a better leader and role model with what they have learned.

Thank you for sometimes being the one they reach out to or confide in.

I am thankful they have someone else in their life who has their best interest in mind. They listen to you. They respect you. They are thankful for you.

And so am I.

So once again I say, “Thank you, Coach. Good Game.”

Jessica Campbell is a mother to four great kids, a wife, and a pediatric nurse. Becoming a parent was a dream come true for her. Though parenting has many joyful moments, it is not always an easy blissful ride. She wants to encourage other parents along this journey so that we can spur one another on to the finish line.

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