We love the game. We love our team. We love our coaches.
But we aren’t so sure about the politics of it all. The hardness of it all. The pressures. The grind. The moves.
And no, we’re not talking about those typical topics we’ve seen and heard and written about ad nauseam inside the football LIFE. We’re talking about the nauseating politics and hardness and pressure and grind and moves surrounding being a football WIFE.
We’re talking cliques.
Y’all know what we mean. We feel them. We see them. Sometimes we’re in them. Sometimes we’re out. But cliques are there and they can oftentimes be the hardest part of the football life.
Being a football coach’s wife can feel like high school all over again. And most of us were glad to sling those years behind us like a lateral pass after too much pressure—pressure to fit in, to fall back, to fold. To lose ourselves to something somebody else wants us to be—or to lose out entirely.
And now, as coaches’ wives, we find ourselves falling back into that familiar, faulty playbook from our past.
Feeling like the outsider. Like the new girl. Or the odd girl out. Trying to learn the plays. Trying to become part of a team. We find ourselves searching for an in. Jostling for position. There are hits, blocks, slants, jukes. Positions shift. Change. We’re in the dogpile or in no man’s land. We feel torn to pick a side. Sides—Offense vs. Defense vs. Special Teams, even (invited to join, but only at crunch time) within the coaches’ wives team.
We wind up divided and conquered—and all on a losing team.
And it’s so sad. Because we love the game. We really, really do. But we hate the games being played. We don’t want to change who we are to fit in or fall out.
But do we really have to?
Isn’t there a place for all of us on this Girl Squad? There has to be. There needs to be. A place where we all feel valued. Where we all can foster our own skills, feel good about our contributions, and not sacrifice ourselves for the whole.
So we can be who we are.
So we can be the boisterous, playmaking wives who rally the troops.
Or be the cornerstone wives who cover their teammates and run interference.
Or be the pass-catching wives who go deep and all in.
Or be the wives who stay closest to the line and focus on containment.
Or even (and these wives are integral, vital parts of the team too, and should never be made to feel less than… ) be the wives who are happiest on the sidelines most days, but willing to contribute when their time comes.
Just let us be.
And let us be willing to accommodate and accept every member of the team. Let us be open, not overbearing. Let us be eager, not ego-filled. Let us be quiet, not condemning. Let us be close, not close-minded. Let us be ourselves.
Let us be the very best part of being coaches’ wives—by being a part of a community, not a clique.