Coaching is a funny world. It is such a public profession with intense public interest that it can’t help but carry some misconceptions and stereotypes. As coach’s wives, we navigate statements regularly that leave us saying, “Huh?” or scratching our (very tired) heads. So, we figured we would offer the truth rather than assume the world “should” understand the behind-the-scenes of coaching. Thanks to the many coaches’ wives around the country who contributed to this list.
Common Misconceptions About Coaching, Coach’s Wives, and Coaching Families
We aren’t available to do anything during the season. Well, yes. That’s kind of true. We can’t do stuff on a Friday night. Saturday weddings are tough. And, you may just get a wife and her kids rather than the whole family if you ask them over for dinner. But that’s the point. Please still ask us. While our schedules are full, busy, and overwhelming, we still want to know that we are important for something other than coaching. Being invited means something, even if we have to say no.
Our kids will play the sport Dad coaches. Yes, some families have a coach-player-coach-player legacy that spans a couple of generations. But many of us don’t. In fact, some of us are so aware of the intense pressure that can get placed on a coach’s kid that we (kinda’ sorta’ maybe) hope they won’t play. We are going to support our kids in whatever interests them. And, that may mean what Dad is coaching, or it may not. We are the first to understand that sports are not everything and, usually, it is not what defines their adult years. Coaches kids are lots of things, and it’s not always an athlete.
We have thick skin. Ooh, this is a tough one. Coaching families may seem like they smile through everything and/or are aloof but, that is not evidence of thick skin. In fact, it’s probably the opposite. Coaches’ wives and kids often have a well-developed self-defense system that comes from years of learning how best to protect their mental and emotional well-being. Most days, we are just desperate to have someone remember that we are humans first and a coach/coaching family second. Our skin is no thicker than anyone else’s.
Coaches are rich. Okay, this is laughable. No, coaches don’t make a lot of money, especially if you break that couple thousand dollar stipend down by the hour. We do it for the kids and the love of the game. While head division one coaches may make millions of dollars, even assistants at the collegiate level often do not make a living wage. A high school coach’s full salary is often more than many college coaches because they are primarily paid to teach, not coach. Speaking of that…
Coaches are bad teachers/don’t care about teaching. Welp, we’ve gone from funny to serious in a hustle. If you want to get a coaching family fired up, this one will do it. Coaches coach because they care about kids. And, they also choose to spend all day with them in the classroom. The time it takes to be a good coach and a good classroom teacher is an incredible feat. Coaches are experts in planning, executing, visioning, connecting with kids, and knowing how to turn abstract concepts into real-life applications. We want these sacrificial, caring, talented (more than a few award-winning) people teaching our kids.
Those coaches/coaching families love talking sports. Well, this one can be true, but, more often than you might think, it’s the opposite. Coaches and coaching families love sport sometimes because of the game but more because it lets us impact young people. When we aren’t coaching, we are often “sports out” or don’t want to talk about it. Coaches have all sorts of interests outside sports. On a similar note, the coach’s wife you know either doesn’t know much about the game/practices/playing time/starters/play-calling, etc., or she wouldn’t tell you anyway. She’d love to talk with you about anything else.
That coaches only coach during the season. Yeah, that’s a hard no folks. Maybe coaching was relegated to a single season back in the day, but that is seldom true anymore. The off-season may be more accurately labeled “slower season” and summer is for sure “in-season.” Coaches work A LOT and there is something going on in-season, recruiting season (college), clinic season, summer workouts, spring ball, off-season conditioning, etc.
Yes, every job has its myths and misconceptions but, as a very public job, coaching has some doozies. I hope we have cleared up some things and, if we’ve missed some, let us know that too. Here’s to coaches caring about kids and making an impact amidst all that the title “coach” brings with it.