Our household includes one coach and one social worker, and I do not think that happened accidentally. I spend my life viewing the world through the lens of “what is happening behind the scenes in this person’s life?” I can’t help but apply that to every child who walks through the doors of my coach’s schools, especially those on the field.
- What role models does this child have?
- Do they have a good example of a healthy relationship?
- Are they getting the things they need to be healthy and safe at home?
As coach’s wives, we all care for our husband’s athletes as if they were our children, and so do our husbands. However, a coach has other priorities on his plate competing with the thoughts that run through my head.
He’s focused on things like, “how do I help them get faster?” or “what route should we run against this team’s defense?” But, while these are important questions, we, as coaches’ wives, can be the catalyst for a change greater than a win on Friday nights.
As we partner with our coach in ministry, we have the opportunity to use our focus on areas he may miss. Identifying athletes in need is an area of increasing concern we are uniquely positioned for. We can’t expect their full potential on the field or court if their basic needs are not met. These needs can range from tangible items, like winter coats or food on the table, to support, love, and stability. More than likely, you already know exactly who these kids are and what they need.
Hearing to coach talk about players who show up to school without warm clothing or just sitting in the stands listening to those who don’t have a fan cheering them on can give us great insight. Likewise, talking to families and learning more about their lives can help us understand our team’s hardships, such as divorce, loss of loved ones, or heartbreak.
Meeting these needs can look different for each of us. Maybe we lend a helping hand to the mom juggling small children in the stands while trying to support her player on the field or yell extra loud for the player whose parents are working late to provide for their family. Sometimes we may be able to help in more concrete ways, like bringing a meal to a player’s family who lost a loved one or sending some clothes for a child in need.
We can also be well versed in our school and community resources and let others know about them. More than anything, we can show real examples of God’s love through our actions. Show up for the team, invest time in them, and pray for them daily. Don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in this coaching life, friend.
We can help coach align his purpose with his job every day. Lovingly encouraging him towards his true calling – making good men and women – is a worthy and wonderful goal we can have as coaches ‘ wives. Are we doing more than just creating a winning football team? Are we teaching these young people about loving their neighbors and the importance of self-worth? What about harder topics like safe and healthy relationships, abuse, or controlling and showing our emotions?
We have a very unique opportunity, dear friend. Supporting our coach comes in so many forms, but are we okay with just showing up? We can do more and be more for our teams and help create a lasting impact on the impressionable young people who could always use an extra person to love on them. You will never regret pouring into lives of your players. So let’s recall our purpose and calling in this life we have landed in and make a change for the better.