When I was a young wife, I was actually a coach also. But when we had our first baby, we quickly realized that we needed to transition from a two-coach family to a one-coach family. I had to quickly change my dream of being a coach to being okay with being in an off-the-field role.
At first, the change was hard. Tears filled my eyes as I watched my husband's truck pull out of the driveway, headed to practice while me and our little guy stayed home. Honestly, the first year continued to be difficult. I resented the fact that my husband was able to continue to coach while I couldn't. As much as I loved spending time with our son, I wanted to do both, but I knew I couldn't continue being resentful and be a good mom and wife.
So, I prayed that God would allow me to continue to participate in sports and the life of our athletes in a way that fit His plan for our life. He slowly showed me that He had a plan for my life that was far better than anything I could have dreamed up. And thus, the "All In Coach's Wife Era" began!
God showed me how to move from simply being married to a coach to how to be a part of the team in a different way.
I want to share how God has called me (and possibly you) to be an all-in, deeply invested coach's wife. My husband Jackie coaches junior high and high school softball. In Oklahoma, we play two seasons of softball. He has also coached girls' basketball for the majority of our married life, so we essentially coach year-round.
I have learned the best way for me to enjoy the coach's wife's life is to invest and invest deeply. I have found pouring into our amazing girls and our community to be deeply fulfilling. The role of the invested wife seems so dreamy, like something straight out of a Disney sports movie. It seems to be a perfect wife with the perfect kids, and of course, the team definitely wins the championship.
But the truth is, when we are deeply invested, it is rewarding but can also be absolutely exhausting. We have times of immense joy, but we can also be deeply hurt. When a parent criticizes us, the team loses the must-win game, or a player moves schools, those things also hurt us because our heart is intertwined with our coach's. It can drain every ounce of energy when we have to balance our own kids' little league schedules while also ordering uniforms, organizing the concession stand, and maintaining our own 9-5 job!
But God has a purpose for our efforts, a plan for our passion. As a young wife, I found that tough situations would cause me to pull back and shy away from being involved. I found myself riding the highs and lows of the coaching life too closely and was exhausted and discouraged. But God showed me a verse that changed how I viewed those situations, James 1:2-4. The Bible says the testing of our faith produces perseverance, and perseverance makes us mature and complete, not lacking anything. The difficult times prune and mature us to be ready to tackle the situations that come next.
God showed me that anyone could live this crazy coaching life if we won every game, only had super supportive parents, and never had kids move off, but obviously, that is unrealistic. God has called me to this life to be there in the happy moments but also in the trenches. To love deeply, to serve sacrificially, and to give selflessly. God has called all-in wives to show up when a player calls at midnight needing help, to be a steady validating presence when we have just enough players to field a team, to cheer loudly for the player that has never had a parent show up to a game, to spend more money than we probably even make because a player needs shoes, a glove, or money for food, and to show grace even when people spew lies and awful untruths.
Most people would say that our family is crazy to live this life. They say we should go somewhere else that would pay us more or win more games, but God has a plan for us to bloom where we are. You see, God hasn't just called us to this life. He has also graciously equipped us with the tools we need to survive this chaos! He has provided us with incredibly loving players, a great community, and a whole tribe that is always willing to help! He allows us to be a part of His plan to love and shape these incredible girls we coach.
I would challenge you to invest deeply even in the hard times because our husbands and our teams are so worth it!