Not too many women identify themselves, at least partially, by their husband’s profession. I get asked a lot “What does a coach’s wife do, exactly?” While we are a big eclectic group, we do a lot of the same things. No matter the level, the sport, or the title, we all have to carry the extra load, and not just during the regular season. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, but some aren’t too far off.
What the fans think we do
They assume we live this glamorous life where we get the inside scoop on what plays will be called and special access to the players. They think we definitely get a VIP parking spot on game day and roll in like we own the place. They even think that we get all our game day attire for free like we are sponsored by a coaches' wives association.
What the parents think we do
They must think that we have some say or influence over roster spots and playing time. We have coach’s ear at all times and can pass along some suggestions for the next game. (Little do they realize that coach doesn’t listen to us about anything really, let alone how he should do his job.)
What our families think we do
They think we are the schedule keepers and the chauffeurs. They think we live in our car and keep the family’s closet in the truck, as we go from sporting event to sporting event. They might also think there’s a little part of us that uses “I can’t, there’s a game” a little too much, just to get out of most of the family activities.
What our friends think we do
When you first make new friends, they tend to think we might be making coach up because “there’s no way somebody works that much.” Since they never really see him, they aren’t sure he actually exists. Once they become good friends, they are often the most empathetic and understanding about all that we do. But soon after we move away, however, these friends can forget us and just assume that we have ghosted them.
What our spouses know we do
Everything. They better not even try to deny it.
What we actually do
We do the cooking, the cleaning, and the mowing. We do the house hunting, packing, unpacking, and settling in. We keep track of the schedules, who needs to be where, and when then we get them there.
We remember to buy the birthday present and send the thank you cards. We plan the matching outfits, fill the bag with snacks and distractions, and then manage the chaos while trying to watch the game.
We do the socializing, fundraising, and community building. We figure out the solutions and get things done. We are the team's (and coach's) biggest cheerleaders after a win and the first to console after a tough loss. We stay up past our bedtime so he can vent and watch even more sports than we care to admit in the name of bonding.
We do all of the above, sometimes more and sometimes less.
Mostly, we do whatever we can to survive and thrive this next day, this next game, this next season, this next transition. We keep the crazy train running the best way we know how so coach can pursue his calling and invest in the next generation.
And because we're amazing multi-taskers we cheer on our fellow coaches' wives while they chase their dreams too. Because we all need someone in our corner. No one understands that better than a coach's wife.
Because that's what coaches' wives do.