A new friend said something to me the other day that made me realize most people don’t think about the coach as an actual person, let alone the family behind him.
As an avid sports fan always expressing die hard support to his favorite teams, he admitted he never once stopped to think about the families behind his favorite coaches or even how a win for his team meant a loss for the other.
Since meeting us, he now can’t help but think twice before being critical or wonder what the mood is like at the home of the losing coach.
So, if that’s the case for anyone else, here’s what we coaches' wives wish you knew:
To the Fans, we wish you knew his first priority is the hearts of the kids
My husband's number one goal is to guide boys into men—to help them learn and work through tough life lessons on and off the field. And that starts by example. Sports isn’t his whole life, and it shouldn’t be theirs (or yours) either.
Also, the next time you question why he’d call that play or put that player in, remember that he spent hours poring over film, studying the other team, and coming up with the game plan. Nobody wants it more than him.
To our Friends and Family, we wish you knew he's not avoiding you.
He’s not noncommittal. If it’s during the season, he honestly can not “just take a day off.” If it’s during the playoffs or recruiting season, he just doesn’t know what his schedule will look like. And even if he does, there are always last minute changes that come up.
We’ve never been able to celebrate our birthdays in a timely fashion because they are both during the season. For us, Mother’s Day is always during the playoffs and Father’s Day is at the height of recruiting season. Holidays don’t exist as fixed calendar dates; we fit them in when we can.
We believe in quality over quantity time. And when he is around, we have to pick and choose events carefully because we are usually busy trying to make up for lost time.
To the Parents, we wish you knew he doesn't play favorites
He’s not purposefully or viciously not playing your kid. There’s more than just pure talent that goes into making that decision. Attitude and effort go a lot further than you think. He doesn’t have it out for your kid. He is simply trying to teach them there are consequences for actions and teamwork will always take them further in life than selfish ambition.
He has missed being a consistent figure in his own children’s life so that he can be one for yours. Most high school athletes don’t go on to play in college, and most college athletes don’t go on the play professionally. So let them enjoy the time on the field they do have.
We’re not asking that you stop wishing the other team loses, but every once in awhile consider the man behind the khakis and whistle.
He’s a father, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle. We are asking that you cut him a little slack.
After all, he doesn’t show up to your place of business and critique some of the moves you make.
And of course, a quick consideration for his family would be a welcomed bonus.