“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care.” – Mandy Hale
After decades coaching soccer at the youth, high school, club, and adult recreational levels, our dad retired his coaching card a few years ago and remarks often how much he misses the experiences, the women and men he coached, and the friendships he made. At the same time, he’s become a little melancholy; he wonders if anyone still remembers him as we’ve all grown older and busier in our lives. Maybe he laments on the time and attention coaching took away from riding his motorcycle or going on vacation.
Last week, on Thanksgiving, he received the above heartfelt note.
He never really put into words what this message meant to him, but his facial expression and the amount of times he’s mentioned the note and the writer speaks volumes.
Because of this note, I believe:
- He was reminded about the impact and influence his coaching years had on hundreds of people.
- He remembered fighting to coach a team when no one was willing to take a chance on these fantastic athletes.
- He remembered the tears and the hugs he offered when the athletes turned to a coach that acted like a father just as clearly as he remembered the cheers after a victory, the weddings he’s watched, and the happiness of watching these girls and boys becoming women and men.
- He remembered that he made a lasting difference and that his positive support still resonates today but indirectly on another generation of soccer players.
- He remembered those moments weren’t a sacrifice or a burden but a joy.
For Megan to take time out of her day to write this note to our dad is the reason this challenge was put on the calendar. Any teacher or coach will tell you they go to work every day in hopes of making a lasting impact on a student or helping the student change their life. For me, my heart is warmed when a former student or athlete verbally tells me about the influence I’ve made in their life, but it’s even better when they take the time to write the message.
Give someone that feeling today.