As coaches' wives, our marriages naturally fall into a rhythm of seasons.
We understand there are weeks of preparation, weeks of competition, weeks of training to do it all over again.
We know there are days when our husband will be home by 5:00 and can play in the backyard, and then there are days when he leaves while it is dark outside and comes home in the dark, too.
The first years of my husband’s coaching career were a hard adjustment for me, even though I was also working and we did not yet have any kids. Now that we are more than ten years in, it still takes some reminding of my own heart that we can endure a few hard months because the seasons always come to an end.
I like to think of it as a bank account that we fill up with deposits during the easier months so that we don’t go into the negative after each long week of withdrawals. Every dinner shared on the back porch, every trip to the batting cages, every movie watched together on the couch is a deposit that reminds them Daddy loves them and enjoys spending quality time with them.
I have always admired my husband’s attitude when it comes to being the coordinator for his campus. He understands that there may be coaches that stay for a few years, hopefully, learn good leadership and management skills, and then move on to another opportunity. We have discussed the sense of both pride and sadness that comes with those losses. He is excited for good coaches to move on and begin a new phase of their careers, and he takes pride in seeing their new programs flourish and have success.
If you and your spouse are nearing the time for a departure from a program, I hope you are excited and hopeful for a positive change. Whether your reason for moving on is a happy one or a more difficult one, seasons eventually must come to an end.
It is always refreshing to share a kind word with the friends who have made your stay there better. Find a time to grab coffee, squeeze in a girls' night out or even just send a handwritten note. There are probably other wives that will genuinely feel sad over the loss of your friendship and understanding too. In a time when you can keep up over social media, this may seem like a waste of time to some, but I know how much I appreciated the chance to tell friends that we wished them well and would truly miss having them as part of the coaching team. Making new friends in a new school or city can sometimes take time, and you may appreciate an encouraging chat or time to get together in the future.
If it is a rough situation that led to the change, be cautious about who you share your frustrations or vent to. Even if you wisely avoid putting those emotions out on social media, another person could share those details without your consent. Remember that leaving with your dignity intact will serve you better than a brief outburst will make you feel, so don’t give any opportunity for someone to grab an emotional moment and hold it against you.
You can take the lessons learned from negative situations and turn them into helpful guides of how to make the next place better. Coaching is a hard gig for a lot of reasons, but departing a program after a losing season can feel really defeating. Find a way to remind your coach that you believe in him and trust in his abilities. A fresh start in a new school can be equally exciting and daunting. Even the best coaches know that it takes a team effort to be successful – and that goes for both at school and at home. Your coach may need those encouraging words to know that you are proud of him for taking on a new challenge and that you are optimistic about the future!
The end of the school year is almost upon us. Whether we are ready or not, a new season will soon be starting and I hope your families will be filling up your emotional bank accounts with good memories. If your journey is taking you to a new destination for the next season, I wish you the best of luck and pray it is a wonderful change for your family. It may be bittersweet, but sometimes change opens up a whole new happiness for you that you weren’t anticipating.
“Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.” Pauline R. Kezer