Dear Grass Valley Dragons Kickball Team,

I am writing you all to let you know how disappointed I am with our previous season. For a team of six year olds you were all playing like a bunch goddamn children. I expect that level of disorganization from the kindergarden teams but you are all in the first fucking grade. Do you want to play kickball or do you want to stand around all day and pick your fucking noses? Because to me it seemed like most of you were content to pick your fucking noses (Becky I am looking at you). If you want to return to the team next year I need you read the information below.

This is Coach John Wooden’s pyramid of success. If we can apply these lessons I believe that our kickball team could be one of the best in the league and we could compete with teams in the 3rd maybe even the 4th grade.


Industriousness – Did we work hard enough? No, we didn’t. Most of you were content to chase butterflies in the field when you should have been playing defense. How did any of you think we were going to win a game when our second basemen and our shortstop were always singing wheels on the bus when they should have been watching for the goddamn ball?

Friendship – Stacey and Vicki were best friends when we started the season. But when Stacey told everyone in the first grade that Vicki wet her bed our team was ripped apart. THIS CANNOT HAPPEN. Also Vicki needs to stop wetting the bed. Grow the fuck up Vicki.

Loyalty – When I ask you to do something YOU CANNOT CRY. You cannot complain to your mothers or my wife when I make you stay late to do shuttle runs. I am your coach and I am not your father (except Vanessa, I am your father but when its kickball time I am your coach).

Cooperation – We are a team. We are not 15 little girls running around like spastic cats. I need you to play like a team. If someone is peeing their bed we don’t embarrass them even if it’s Vicki. God Dammit Vicki stop pissing the bed. You need to realize your dad is never coming back. It’s not your fault Vicki. Your mom is a monster. No one blames you.

Enthusiasm – You know how excited you get when we go for frozen yogurt and I let you all get gummi bears? Well I need you that excited for games. I don’t need you acting like spoiled little bitches out there. We need to get pumped.


Self Control – This goes back to picking your nose or singing songs when you should be playing the game. You have to able to give yourself over to this game. If you can’t be good at kickball what hope do you have? Do you think life is going to get easier as you get older? Let me tell you this. Your days playing kickball could be the best day of your lives. If you don’t pay attention you will wake up one day stocking a Home Depot at night because you don’t make enough money roofing since your brother kicked you out of the union.

Alertness – I need you to pay attention and to be present or else we won’t be able to win games. I literally saw some of you fall asleep out there. The least you can do is stay awake for the course of the game. You don’t think I get tired? I work 78 hours a week and coach a bunch of ungrateful little monsters. I’m exhausted constantly.

Initiative – I can only coach people that want to be here. You have to be your own coach. You have to want to be here. Sometimes in life you have to do things not because you want to, but because you have to. Sometimes you stay married to someone because you know you can’t afford the divorce. So you take the lead and start coaching on the weekends so you can get out of the house and spend time with your daughter before your wife takes her away one weekend to live with her mother in Albuquerque.

Intentness – Coach Wooden would say that we must stay the course. That we must persevere relentlessly. We cannot give up even though we think about it every single day when we wake up from another night sleeping on the couch in the spare room.


Condition – If you kids don’t get into shape I don’t think we will ever win again. If everyone doesn’t drop five pounds by the start of next season I don’t think we are ever going to get frozen yogurt again.

Skill – We are not good enough to win right now. Maybe the answer is that we need two a day practices again this summer. Maybe three a days are the answer? I don’t know what is but I do know we have to get better. You can’t go through life without skills or else you end up hauling scrap in the off season when you should be spending time at your father’s lake house. Too bad it went to your brother in the will and you got nothing.

Team Spirit – We need more cheers. Now I admit some of mine were… well a little more adult than what we needed but the idea behind them was good. I need someone to find some cheers that capture the spirit of O-R-G-Y, What’s that spell? Teamwork.  But without offending some of our more demure team members and their bitch ass parents. Also if you see your parents writing an email to the league commissioner about me unplug their computer.


Poise – This comes back to how we conduct ourselves. We are fighters, we are winners, we don’t give up no matter how far we have fallen. It has to get better. Maybe one day your wife will just leave on her own and you won’t have to pay her alimony? Never give up hope no matter how bad Richard the night manager at Home Depot treats you.

Confidence – Play like champions. Act like winners. Don’t act like some sniveling little quitter. If someone walks up to you at Home Depot and asks if you are the manager, SAY YES god dammit. Be the change you want to see.


Competitive Greatness – We must fight. We must work. We must not give up. I need you to respect me girls. I need you to believe in me. Together we can move mountains. Together we can win kickball games. Give me a reason to get up in the morning. Give me the chance to succeed.


Mark Colomb

Mark Colomb Pyramid of Success John Wooden Letter