Did you ever receive a letter from one of your coaches? I never did but I would have loved it, and definitely would have kept it.
Coach Todd Naumann, defensive coordinator for Covington Catholic high school football, has an awesome tradition where he writes a letter to all of his "defense players" every week. Here below is the letter for week 10.
Maybe your season is over - consider writing a letter to all your players and giving it to them on awards night or something similar.
Maybe consider making this tradition your own next season.
I guarantee you your players would appreciate it and keep the letters.
October 30th, 2010
Week #10… Senior week and we are playing the St. Xavier Tigers. What an important time of the football season. Teams are winding up the regular season and ramping up for the playoffs. Four years of hard work hang in the balance as seniors across the state of Kentucky near the end of their high school football careers. CCH football celebrates the contributions of each senior class, recognizing the significant role you guys have played in this program, especially this year. This is a part of the process that allows closure for the seniors and a passing of the torch to the underclassmen. In successful programs… tradition never graduates. This program is rich and vibrant because some 50 groups of seniors have cared enough to give their very best. Many chapters have yet to be written, but the 2010 football seniors have added to the outstanding tradition of Covington Catholic football.
As you grow older you will come to realize that life is a series of beginnings and endings. I really believe that much of this is to prepare us for some of life’s greatest challenges. We need to taste the sweetness of new beginnings and the bitterness that sometimes comes with saying good bye. We hopefully won’t say goodbye to our seniors for some five weeks, yet we use this time to prepare ourselves for the day that will inevitably come. For each of us in life, we will one day say a final goodbye. We watched a brother on our football team say goodbye to his mother this week. Although senior week pales in comparison to the loss of a loved one… we need to practice saying good bye, for it is a part of life. We also believe that God’s love is everlasting. And we know that although we say goodbye, we will never be alone. Seniors, you will leave us soon, but we will forever carry you in our hearts.
I wanted to use this letter to thank the guys that have meant so much to this program: Travis Conner… for the courage and toughness of a young man twice your size (you have the heart of a lion), Alex Cosby… for the love of your teammates (no one genuinely cares more about others than you), Seth Grothaus… for your grace in the midst of little playing time (you are so unselfish and a total team player), Mark Jones… for your energy (you love the game and you truly appreciate the time you spend on the field with your teammates), Paul Ritter… for your physical sacrifice (you continue to lay your body on the line week in and week out, setting the tone for our defense), Joe Sizemore… for your guts (no one has come further this year, you have stayed the course and inspired each of us to continue to improve), Troy Timmerman… for your grace (in the face of high expectations and adversity, you have always put your teammates first and showed courageous leadership), Dan Gregory… for your perseverance (you have become one of the rocks of our defense and have done it through nothing but hard work), and Jake Neinaber… for your character (nobody better symbolizes the best of what this football program stands for than you).
Seniors we honor you this week and also say that we will continue to need your leadership in this program. Once a Colonel, always a Colonel! There will be precious few weeks left, but there is still much work left to be done. The example you continue to set both on and off the field is of the utmost importance. If we are to become the best men we can be we will need to continue to challenge each other… None of us can do it alone! We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. Seniors, continue to push the envelope. Continue to challenge each of us to be our very best so you can be your best. Leave this program with no regrets! When it’s all said and done there will still be five months of school left. Finish the school year strong! Set the right example academically, socially, and spiritually. Be the man that you have been called to be. This school and this program will be counting on you long after your playing days are over.
Finally, the game… this game will set the tone for the playoff run. You need to prove to yourselves that you are ready to physically, mentally, and emotionally challenge the big boys. You are well prepared and have done the work, now it’s time to play! It is time to go play great defense. Nothing on the field is ever more important than playing fast and physical. Defense is about attitude, and it’s time to bring it. No fears and no regrets! Go all in! Play like your hair is on fire! Play with a passion and desire that is pleasing to the Lord. He gave you his best and it’s now time to give him your best! Always know the pride and love I carry for each of you in my heart. I wouldn’t want to coach any other team in the world. You guys are the best!
Find your delight in the LORD who will give you your heart's desire.