The following are two letters to coaches. They are not actual letters rather they are composites of letters. The first letter is from 1970 to me in my first year coaching, the second letter is from 2013 that a colleague shared with me. Compare and contrast the content and tone of the letters.
1970 – Dear Coach (Letter)
Enclosed in the insurance form for Johnny’s participation in track. Also enclosed is a check for $9.95 for the shoes you were able to get at a discount for the team. Thank you for your help with Johnny he is looking forward to track. Please contact us if there is anything we can help with.
Mr & Mrs. Smith
2013 – Dear Coach (E mail)
I just wanted to inform you that we cannot sign the insurance form until it is approved by our attorney. Because Johnny can’t practice without the insurance form we will continue to have him work with his personal trainer and personal jump coach. When our attorney approves the insurance Johnny will only be able to practice with the team one day a week. In addition after reviewing the meet schedule and consulting with his doctor, massage therapist, psychologist and personal jump coach Johnny will only compete in three meets. He is only allowed to compete in one event in those meets. Our advisory team feels this is best for his long term development. We do not want to compromise his DI scholarship opportunities or his Olympic berth in 2020.
If you need any coaching advice please feel free to consult with Johnny’s personal coach. He is available by appointment at 11:00 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Athletes like my soon are very special you are very fortunate to have Johnny on your team.
You might say this is is an exaggeration, unfortunately it is not. It is becoming the norm. Coaching today presents some unique challenges that did not exist in 1970. There are no quick and easy answers to the problems presented by the second letter.