When I was a kid, nothing could bore me like baseball. Sure, I played t-ball and coach-pitch like many kids do, but more often than not, you would see me picking flowers in the outfield or gazing over the fence just trying to pass the time. And actually watching a baseball game? Well, that was even worse. I would be bored out of my mind, and I could never see the point of the game.
Fast forward to college. I was 19, and a fast-developing friendship turned into falling in love with … a college baseball player. Me, the girl who hated baseball, was captivated with this red haired, burly guy who wore a blue uniform and pitched for my college. The irony couldn’t get more real.
We dated, married, and have gone through a lot in our time together, but one thing that has never left the picture is baseball. From playing, to a career-ending injury, to coaching, my now-husband is passionate about this sport. And me, the crazy girl who hated baseball who he fell for, has come to understand that there is more to the game than standing around in a field, hitting balls, and scoring runs.
You see, the most hard-working players, the dedicated coaches, the cheering fans, all have something in common: a love for the game.
They love the intricacies of how the game works, and the competition it involves.
They love the plays and the close moments.
They love the community that being a part of a team brings.
They love the highs and the lows, because without the low points, the high points wouldn’t mean anything.
They love and take pride in their uniform, caring for their equipment, and representing the team.
They love the game.
Besides the game itself, baseball is more. As Ted Williams said, “Baseball is the only endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”
Baseball teaches one how to deal with failure. How to get back up and try again. It teaches patience, perseverance and respect. It grows relationships. It is more than a game, but it is a love of the game and a desire for it to be more that creates this environment.
And what about me, the girl who hated baseball? I’ve gone in with an open mind and have been willing to learn what it is truly about. We’ve gotten past that first embarrassing period where I was head over heels for a baseball player, but had not a clue what was going on. My dear husband has been incredibly patient with me and has walked me through a lot of the details of the game that I didn’t understand.
Because of this, and because of his love for the game, I now have a true appreciation for the sport and am happy to be a part of it.
I share this story in hopes of being an encouragement. We all come from different backgrounds, have different interests and personalities. We know for a fact that being a coach's wife is tough much of the time, and that some of us adapt to it better than others.
Whether your spouse’s sport is baseball, football, or something else, I can guarantee that to them, to the players they coach and to many of the fans in the stands, it is something much more than a game.
If, like me, you don’t understand the sport, if you don’t get your spouse’s dedication to it, or are struggling with some aspect of the coaching life, try this. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and explain the areas you don’t understand. More than likely your coach will be happy to teach you. Try to view it from his perspective.
See what it is that drives his dedication. See what it is that makes him passionate about his sport. See what it is that he struggles with, and what it is that gives him satisfaction in his career. See what it is that drives his love for the game, and perhaps you too, can learn to love the game.