This Coach Brought His "A" Game

A common mistake among those who work in sport is
spending a disproportional amount of time on
"x's and o's" as compared to time spent
learning about people.

We’ve all heard horror stories about coaches yelling, swearing, even being verbally abusive (yes…this really does happen!) in an effort to motivate their players. We don’t often hear about the flip-side. It is rare to hear about coaches that inspire and TRULY motivate young people, not only on the playing field, but in the real world. Some coaches don’t just teach kids how to “win” a game, they teach kids how to “win” in life. Such is the story you are about to hear.

A postcard from my son’s high school arrived the other day. Looking strikingly similar to the ones that arrive with reminders of PTA meetings, this was far from it. On closer inspection, this postcard was handwritten and filled nearly every inch of white space.

Addressed to my husband and myself, this postcard was signed by one of my son’s football coaches. Sometime between teaching, reviewing plays, running football practice and chalk talk, this coach had taken some time out to write a similar postcard to every parent with a son on the team. A far cry from the generic, “We’re glad your son is on the team, we’re looking forward to a great year!” (hey, even that would have been impressive), the content reflected forethought and reflection on my son’s inner-workings. This coach “got” who my son is.

Reflected in this note, between the greeting and the signature, were nuances of my son’s personality, character, drive and determination. Clearly, concerning himself with more than x's and o's, this coach had taken the time to know more about my son than the number on his jersey. He had captured the essence of my son, right there in black and white.

And to think that he did this for the parents of every boy on the team! What a class act! Coach Colonel Manki, if you are out there, know that the time you took to do this is appreciated. I will treasure this postcard, as will every parent that is in possession of one.

A coach that reaches this far beyond what’s expected of him, can only inspire more of the same in his players! How can a coach expect a kid to be extraordinary, if he can’t show a little bit of it himself? This coach definitely brought his “A” game!

Oh, and...Gooooooo Devils!

Spin-Doctor Tip: When is the last time your teen or younger child overheard you say something GREAT about him? Take your lead from Coach Colonel Manki and do it today!

(Do you know of a coach that inspires, motivates and changes lives? We’d love to hear about it here. Leave us a comment…we’ll applaud your coaches, too!)


If you do not have a "Google" account and don't want to have to sign up for such to leave a comment about your "great" coaches, go to You can leave us word on your coach there...and see what others have said!

Whitney Johnson said…
So true. The principal at our kids' school last year, Mr. Eyster, wrote a few notes home about our children. What magic...

Loved this story; thank you for sharing.

Thanks for visiting again! It is hear that someone else "sees" what you "see" in your child...and more than that...they take the time to write about it!

Glad you liked the story! Do-gooders deserve to be recognized!


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