Handwritten Notes…the Secret Recruiting Weapon of Duke’s Coach Kryzyewski

Thank You Revolution Header
Thank You Revolution Archive

Happy Thursday Revolutionaries!

First off, a hat tip to Mark Sieverkropp for sharing the content below with me.

Speaking of Mark, if you buy his book, Project:Success, you’ll get my short book, Jay-Z on Business and 8 Other Essays to Advance Your Career. Click here for details on his book and how to buy it and get my book (and more) as a bonus!

So how powerful are handwritten notes, even on young people?

Powerful enough to attract the top high school basketball player to Duke last year.

If you are a sports fan like me, you probably know that Jabari Parker was one of the best high school basketball players in the past ten years. Every college in America wanted him. And much to my chagrin, he went to Duke. (As much as I respect Coach K, my dad went to Wake Forest and I have been a lifelong Demon Deacon fan, so hatred for the Devils from Durham runs deep)

So how do handwritten notes play into this story? Here’s an excerpt from a recent Sports illustrated story that Mark shared with me (emphasis is mine):

During his junior year at Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy, Jabari Parker received his first letter from Duke’s Mike Kryzyewski. Every few months he got another. Each contained praise, encouragement and promises. Each was handwritten. “It’s my way of telling him, ‘This is me. I am doing this,’ ” Kryzyewski said. “And you can count on what I say. When you sign your name it means more. It takes giving your word to a different level.”

Parker saved the letters in a shoebox. He still has them. They represent just one of many unique things Kryzyewski did to recruit him. Coach K also sent handwritten letters to Jabari’s parents Sonny and Lola. He made a point to teach Jabari some technical aspect of the game every time he visited the Parker home.

If you haven’t already figured it out by now, HANDWRITTEN NOTES WORK!

They work, they work, they work. Now get started on some.

Today’s takeaway: Handwritten notes mean more. They take your written word to a different level.

Today’s question: How can handwritten notes, particularly thank you notes, benefit your career or help you obtain something you want? Click here to share your answer in the comments section.

Matt McWilliams
Matt McWilliams.com | Life. Leadership. Love. Learned the Hard Way

Tiny Prints Thank You Cards

  • Tim Gradoville

    thanks for posting this. It reminded me of a story I read a few years back about how Peyton Manning writes handwritten notes to NFL players that retire. Many of the players keep his notes somewhere special and just goes to show you that a simple gesture like that meant the world to some of the greatest athletes of our time. I know he’s gained the respect of players past and present and I’m sure the notes have a little something to do with that!

    • Wow Tim. That is incredible. Never knew that.

      Thanks for sharing!