Build Those Folders and Write That Letter

I had dinner with Coach Mark Reddy last night. I learned so much from him just listening to his perspective on life, adversity, coaching ...

At one point in the conversation he began to talk about his awards banquet.

There is a particular tradition in SportsLeader that unfortunately many coaches have not taken us up on - but - fortunately - Mark has.

We have a virtue theme of the week with a story, some questions, some quotes, a goals progress chart ... Every week the idea is to go over one of the sheets, the players fill them out and hand them in to their mentor coach.

Most teams do this part. The next part requires a little more sacrifice. Each mentor coach then keeps all of those sheets in a player folder, one folder per player. They write down some comments, some praise on each sheet week after week ... building up the folder.

By the end of the season each player will have about 20 sheets representing all of the work they have put in during the season.

Then the week before the awards banquet, each coach looks back through all those sheets of the players he has been mentoring all season and writes each of his players a short letter, maybe 1 page.

At the awards banquet every player receives that folder with all the sheets and the personal letter from his mentor coach.

The look on Coach Reddy's face while he was talking about all this was proof enough for me that this works ...

"Lou, when the kids go back and sit down they couldn't open that folder fast enough ... they read the letter over and over again. Most have tears running down their faces, especially the Seniors. I know they will keep those folders forever."

...

On my way to dinner with Mark, I had a phone call with another coach who just had a player die this past weekend in a car accident. He was a Senior getting ready to graduate in a few weeks.

Couple this with the above story ... a true perspective on what coaching is all about.

Life is short. I encourage you to follow Coach Reddy's example ... build those folders and write that letter.