I am a big believer in what is now becoming the lost art of writing someone a personal note. The advent of the Internet and text messaging, while amazing in their own ways of instant communication, have overshadowed the simplicity of pen on paper. But I get it, not everyone enjoys writing, and many more believe they don’t have the time to do so when texting can be done in seconds with fewer words that don’t even have to be spelled correctly to make sense.
For me, writing has always been an avenue for stress relief. It has freed me from my own debilitating obsessions of constantly organizing, exercising, or shall we say “just doing something.” Writing allows me to stop and think. It allows me to reflect. It truly allows me to be grateful for all that I have been given. I believe that it has the power to free the mind from both obligation and stagnation.
Over the past few weeks I have witnessed a group of young men and their coaches desperately seeking small victories, to uplift their morale after losing three straight games. They had started their season with three wins, and they were only expected to win one of those games. Coined a rebuilding year, many did not think they would win more than three or four games out of their 12-game season. I felt honored to have a chance to be a part of the rebuilding. To see it from within, not just on a television or on my phone on Saturdays.
I had always been a believer and doer when it comes to sending out small notes of appreciation to people throughout my life. I only wish I would have done it many more times. There have surely been many many people deserving of a thank you note from me, or even just a simple message to uplift another persons’s soul or mood.
And this time, I wanted to do something a little different since the opportunity surely presented itself.
Since I had access that most people don’t, I decided to pick 10-players who I thought would benefit from a small, authentic and genuine note taped upon his locker before the start of the game. Many of them I had not even met, others brief interactions in the offices or on the field during practice, and just a few that I had truly connected with. I wanted to do my best to try and inspire them just a little.
A different note for each one, not just a generic quote or statement. Five to 10-sentences with some sort of substance. It took me a little while to complete my project, but oh it was worth it. For the first time in 4-weeks, the team posted a victory: 37 to 3 against a Top-10 ranked team that had 6 wins and ZERO losses going into the night. And the opponent was ranked #1 out of 130 teams in terms of number of points scored per game.
While I believe I have enough self-awareness to realize that my notes did not win the game for us, the action I saw on the field was worth it. Players came up to me at the start of the game, during and after, and even sent me text messages thanking me for the notes they received. A few of them even proclaiming that I had done something for them that no one else ever had before.
Some of them admitted that they finally gave the game “all they had in them” and finally focused on their “brothers” vice themselves.
And if you watched the game and compared the list of players I wrote to, to those making the big plays, you would have been amazed. Maybe what I did had no bearing whatsoever, but I felt good about it and so did those involved. It was all about connecting.
This week I think I will write 50 or 60 notes before we go up against the University of Arizona next weekend. Good thing I already started writing some of them this morning. I just have to make sure I tape them to the correct locker.
Why don’t you start with just ONE? Let someone know how much you care about them. Or how grateful you are for having them in your life. Or perhaps you can just say hello.
Let me know how it goes. I would really love to hear about the results that you get from just a few words on paper.