When I decided to reach out to my former coach, having had no contact with him for over a dozen years… I sent the following brief letter:
I am a key contributor on a documentary project centered around mentors and influential male role models over generations. The project is about the men who made us what we are today.
I would love to interview you on camera about your influences and role models growing up, the lessons that you learned, and how you passed those lessons on to future generations.
It would probably only take an hour in total, and there would only be a crew of one: me. You have obviously been one of the most important male influences in my life, and taught many lessons in hockey and in life in general.
If it sounds interesting and you would be willing to be involved, please call me at your earliest convenience so we can set up a time to sit down and do it. Within the next two weeks would be ideal to meet deadlines, but there is some flexibility.”
Three days later my phone rang, and caller ID informed me that the response to my letter had come. I could not bring myself to pick it up.
“Chris! It’s ____! So good to hear from you my buddy. I’m so proud of what you are doing. Thank you for saying all those nice things. I’d be honored to do the interview! Gimme a call alright? We can pick a day to do it soon. Thank you again. Okay. Talk to you soon ______.”
Why that last BLANK, you may wonder?
Because that was when he addressed me, on my voicemail…by the name of a different boy.
I had been unsure if I would actually follow through until I heard that name.
Before there was a Coached into Silence, there was this Untitled Mentor Project. Before there was a professional crew, I went in alone.
Armed with 2 cameras and the truth.