Coach's Personal Life Playbook

Coach's Personal Life Playbook

Let's be honest: Coaches tend to be pretty observant, but only when it comes to work-related things.

They can tell you what play is about to be run seconds after the formation is set (and will probably let you know about the one that would have been a better fit).

They can tell a person's character within the first few minutes of meeting. Despite most people's expectations of winning, their primary role is to help people achieve the best of their abilities. To do so, they must have a realistic sense of a person's starting point.

They can take in an entire field of situations all at once, within split seconds of each other, and make the calls needed to change or progress their team's game (and even let you know something the refs missed.)

But he could be the most observant person in the entire world and not get far without his playbook. Even people not in the coaching industry understand just how crucial the coach's playbook is to a team's success. He needs it to guide his decision-making based on the things he is observing.

And no matter how attentive he is on the field, he seems to make the same mistakes over and over again at home, without tweaking the game plan. Coach's wives like to joke that coach should have a playbook for his personal life, then maybe he'd remember to bring his lucky polo, know where his keys are, (etc.)

So, here it is. The basic Coach's Personal Life Playbook:

  • Do include her in the plans before committing her to cook dinner for more than five extra people that night.
  • Don't tell her you're on your way home until you're in your car about to leave the parking lot. 
  • Do write the occasional love note instead of a new play on that napkin. 
  • Don't think she wants to only watch football on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights. 
  • Do put something on other than khakis and a polo and take her somewhere non-sports related once every few months. 
  • Don't consider a fundraising event a date night. 
  • Do ask her about her day before going into yours. 
  • Don't leave her behind to tie up loose ends at the old school while you focus on revamping the new one.
  • Do leave yourself time and notes so that you don't forget the necessities before a game.
  • Don't assume she can just drop everything to help you with x, y, or z. 
  • Do try to make friends with guys other than the ones on staff. It's okay to diversify who you spend your time with. 
  • Don't talk shop when you're out and supposed to be socializing. Leave that for the office or the field. 

Now, I'm sure this is too long, and I lost coach's attention after the first don't, so I'll summarize it in one line.

When it comes to personal life things, do the opposite of your first instinct!


Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife living on the East Coast. They have three young kids and have been living this life since 2004. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay-at-home mom). Jess started writing, hoping that by sharing her stories and lessons learned, she might help others learn “the easy way.”
Back to blog