From the Coach’s Kid’s Mom—He’s Waited a Lifetime for This. Please, Show Grace.
I watched my boy play his first JV game last night.
After five months of no sports for our coaching family, it was just simply so great to see my husband back out in the field. It was a moment in time I want to remember forever to see my boy join his dad under the lights, or in our case, the heat of the Friday evening Texas sun.
You see, my boys were born into a family where their dad was already a Coach. It’s all they’ve ever known.
They’ve shared their dad with hundreds of boys over the years.
They’ve cheered for hundreds of football and basketball games as they’ve grown up.
They’ve had lots of role models to look up to, in the form of their dad’s players.
They’ve also dealt with a mom, functioning without their dad, on the last string of the rope of sanity as the season grinds on.
They’ve eaten hundreds of meals from a concession stand or from a drive-thru after cheering for the boys of the communities they’ve been a part of, while their dad drives the team bus home.
They’ve eaten supper at the table alone with mom, while dad counseled or drove a player home because, in that moment, that player’s needs were greater than their own.
They’ve also gone to bed lots of nights while their dad worked late, calling him in tears to tell him they miss him and good night.
My boys have grown up, waiting for the moment they could participate.
They’ve waited to ride the team bus home, to get to sit in the back of the bus, not the row closest to Coach.
They’ve waited to join the after game meals with the team, instead of the drive-thru with Mom.
They’ve waited all these years to put what they’ve heard over and over again into practice themselves.
So, if I could ask you one favor, as the mom of the coach’s kid, show him a little grace.
If he’s overly passionate and loses his cool, it’s because he knows that often his dad’s job is dependent on the outcome of the season, and now he personally carries part of that burden.
If he looks shaky in the heat of the moment, it’s because he’s worried about the extra lecture he may get around the supper table on Saturday night, since his seat is right next to Coach’s.
If he celebrates defeat or victory differently than the other players, remember that he’s been cheering for someone else’s season his whole life and now, he has to learn how to celebrate from a new vantage point. I promise, we’re coaching him on that, too.
His dad has committed his entire profession to the sport and the weight my boy carries is a heavy one.
He’s going to mess up; he’s going to overreact; he’s going to make a bad pass; he’s going to fail. But just like his dad realized after coaching for years, no one can win the game alone. It always has to be a team effort and we’re most grateful for the folks who help support us with our own home team, while cheering for the hometown team.
His moment on the field or court is so brief—we get to share that moment with you and yours and in the end, we’ll all miss the ride when it’s over. Let’s make the most of our moment together with grace, with enthusiasm, with a winning spirit for our boys.
Janie is in her 17th season as a coach’s wife. She and Coach live in small-town Texas somewhere between field goals & free throws with their two boys. She is a librarian and secondary English teacher by trade, a sports photographer and writer by trial (and error).