Thanksgiving reminds many of us to give thanks for the people in our lives. Others forget the “Thanks” part and focus on the turkey or football.
Speaking of football, I’d like to say thanks to someone who attended every high school football game with me, but rarely watched the game. My cheerleading coach kept her eyes trained on the sidelines, offering words of encouragement while freezing her butt off and reminding us to keep smiling, in the face of another defeat.
High school coaches aren’t biologically, financially, or legally responsible for our well-being. Yet somehow, those passionate, dedicated, and unrelenting souls demand nothing but our best.
Have you thanked your former high school coach lately?
Yeah, me neither. I think it’s about time I do.
A thank you letter to my former high school coach
Dear Coach Whited,
Thank you for sacrificing your time to serve as my coach.
Being a part of your cheerleading squad gave me the chance to be a part of something greater than my social clique, wasting valuable moments in the Taco Bell parking lot.
Man, I want those moments back.
You gave me confidence in myself. I struggled for those Ds in geometry and algebra, but in your chemistry class, I managed to successfully complete complex equations using mols. I don’t know that would have been the same if I hadn’t been on your squad.
Your coaching taught me lessons in what is right and wrong. Somehow between “Go, Fight, Win!” and “Defense, Hold Tight!” delivered in unison with 17 other girls, taught me more about being an individual and following my own passions long after the scoreboards went dark.
Truth: even if I thanked you all those years ago, I’d still have to say it again. As my coach, the lessons I learned about the importance of spirit or community and goal setting… plus motivation and resilience, even integrity, were what made the wins so sweet as well as giving me the courage to get back up after a defeat.
You didn’t just coach a cheerleader, you coached an entire human being.
As a high school coach, constrained by time and age, I thought it important to tell you: you’re still coaching me today.
P.S. I know C-O-A-C-H really spells coach.