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In high school I started as a varsity basketball player my freshman year. To say that I was nervous that very first game would be an understatement. My dad knew how nervous I was, so he wrote me a simple note and taped it to my mirror for me to see the morning of the game. All the note said was, "Relax and have fun." That was just the beginning. The next game he wrote another, more detailed note and then another and another. It just became a game-day ritual. I woke up every morning and read the note he left.

The notes would give me pointers like "stay low on defense," "use your legs when you shoot" and "keep your dribble down." He also would pull in the positives from the previous game and also the things I needed to work on. At the end of each note, Dad would remind me to relax and to have fun. The very last line of the letter was always, "No matter the outcome of the game, I'm very proud of you and I love you very much." This simple line to me was huge, considering that I lost nearly three times as many games as I won in high school.

Sometimes I still dig the letters out that he wrote just to read them. My dad would get home really late from work and stay up really late or get up really early in order to get my letter done. On one occasion he forgot to write it before I left for school, but when I got home after school to get my stuff to go back to the gym, you better believe that the note was there. To my dad, the act was simple but to me it was so much more. Just knowing that he believed in me, no matter if we won or lost, helped so much. This is why my dad is great!

Jancye, Arkansas City, Kansas


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