You can feel the energy change the moment you pull up to the stadium. The sun is starting to set on the football field. It’s Friday night and the cool air fills your lungs and the loud cheers spread through the stands.
You take your seat in the bleachers easily spotting your husband down on the sidelines. He’s putting his whole heart out on the field as the clock counts down to kick off.
I have spent many similar nights at the football stadium, watching my husband be a superhero on and off the turf.
Being married to a coach has given me a unique perspective on what it really means to be a coach. It’s not just a “job.” It’s a service and a calling.
It’s serving those who need it the most. It’s being a second parent to some. Coaches guide and shape the players into strong, hardworking, kind, and respectful people they need to become.
It’s being a leader and a role model, not only for the players but for everyone around them.
The moment I realized this was one weekday night at our dirty kitchen table.
My husband sat there, looking completely exhausted, watching film while grading his students’ papers. Meanwhile, our youngest was on his lap claiming his attention.
Although the weight of his workload was clearly on his shoulders, he continued to grade while giggling and singing with her.
He had huge stacks of papers in front of him and a laptop opened with film playing from the previous game.
He had dark circles under his eyes due to a lack of sleep, dinner going cold and untouched in front of him because he was too busy to eat.
I watched him in awe. This was the moment that changed it all for me. This is when I understood what it takes to be a coach, a teacher, a father, and a husband.
It finally hit me, just like a late hit at the end of a play—except the referee didn’t throw the dang flag!
Every late-night practice, every phone call and text, every moment he had was going to someone or something else. He was willingly giving everything he had. He was devoted and dedicated to helping others achieve.
I admired him the most in that moment. Not because of him being exhausted or too busy, but because I realized just what kind of man I had married.
I am NOT perfect at remembering this. Especially on the hard and lonely days that seem to accompany a coach’s wife.
But it’s during those days that I try to remind myself what MY own definition of a coach is.
To me, a coach is a leader of men and women.
I am not saying that my husband and I don’t fight or have off days, because oh we do! You’d think it was a coach arguing with a ref in our house!
I definitely have my days where I still feel lonely and forgotten. Or when I am so tired I wish I could be benched for the next quarter, or fake an injury just to get a time out!
But that’s the crazy ride of being married to a coach. If you let it, it can teach you some of the most valuable lessons you’ll ever learn.
Being married to a coach, I’ve developed an incredible love—for the players, the coaches, the parents, the roar of the crowd, and the game itself. These leaders of men and women are truly selfless, incredible, and inspiring people to be around.
I wouldn’t want my life any other way.