Todays letter is one which I am sure many of us would agree with.
It’s writer blogs at Lb Living better.
Dear Coach… Sincerely, Every Parent
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.
I am still accepting letters for this series. So if you have a letter to someone you would like to write, you are welcome to submit it. The previous letters are under the heading “a series of letters”, if you would like to read them.
17 thoughts on “Series of Letters. Letter 11.”
Every coach, and parent of a child in coach led sports, should read this. Very well said!
Thank you! I wrote it over a decade ago and now that I have three very active sports children, it means even more…. sometimes I wish I could hand it out!
You should!!!!! 🙂
This is why only the brave, wise and empathetic should coach young children in sports.
It is the ultimate privilege to write on the slate of a child!
this is a beautiful letter, from a parent who loves their child and to a coach who is entrusted with their precious care.
Reblogged this on LB Living Better and commented:
If my blog post is featured on a blog in Ireland ~ does that now make me an international writer? 🙂 Such a nice treat for a blizzard day here in New England. This letter to a Coach remains one of my favorite pieces over a decade later. Thank you to My thoughts on a page for posting!
You’re very welcome. It’s a great letter. As someone who has over 350 children in my coaching care it really resonated with me. As someone who is a mother, it resonated with me just as loudly! Well said.
As someone who was not sports inclined I do understand what you are feeling and more importantly I can understand what your child is feeling. There are people who should never interact with children.
I like that it is signed “Every Parent.”
Me too, 🙂
That is a terrific letter, and I can re-late. Our youngest son is on the autism spectrum, but loves to play football. He works out so hard, and is so committed, but it is harder for him than other kids. He doesn’t always get to play, but his coaches always tell me that they appreciate his work ethic, and that he never complains, even though he doesn’t get to play. But I do wish he would get the chance to play more often. It seems like these days sports get so competitive it is just crazy. What happened to just playing in order to learn life lessons and team work? Sometimes though the parents are the worst. So thanks for posting this.
Thank you, Kim. Unfortunately the competitiveness has dwindled down to the youngest of age groups and turning off children with potential not foreseen at age 10 or 12. Good coaches find a way to let all kids play ~ it is the point and it does matter.
You are so correct! It is so good for their self-esteem, and also helps them learn how to be a good leader, and team-mate. I know that our son has really come out of his shell just by being on the football team. I always tell him how proud I am that he tries so hard even when he doesn’t get to play. I let him know that athletes and sports come and go, but character lasts a life time.
As an aside and an answer to a cranky email I received. I do believe in keeping score and winning and losing. I don’t do feel good trophies for everyone who shows up they mean nothing. I don’t believe in winning at the expense of team and most importantly I don’t believe in winning at the expense of a child. Varsity teams, specialized programs are an exception, and you should know what you are signing up for ~ ask the coach the policy on playing time and then see if it is a good or even realistic match for your child. Thanks for reading!