Yes, I am one of “those” wives.
My family has specific game day outfits, and they are the same game after game, week after week (unwashed) until the first loss. Then, I try a new combination. This goes on, loss after loss, until I find the winning outfits.
We make a sign for every game day, telling Coach Daddy we love him and to beat the other team. We eat certain things for our “pre-game” meals, and avoid places and things we’ve eaten that have resulted in a loss. And if you move from point A to point B during a game and we start to lose our lead, you better believe I will send you back to point A.
I do try to be flexible – if it is raining, I’ll allow for the addition of a rain jacket. Our season goes from January until, potentially, the end of May, so if we make it to the warmer months, the kids can hold the sweatshirt instead of wearing it (but I will still be wearing it.)
The funny thing is, I don’t believe in luck.
I am about to start my 15th season. Luck might give you the tiniest of edges, but it won’t make or break a game.
I know it’s the practicing, the hard work, the dedication, the game plan, the belief, the resilience, the film study, the support, the extra practice, etc. that makes success possible. But coaching is a performance-based profession, and really a “what have you done for me lately” one at that.
If I am being honest, it is more about craving control than luck.
Nothing about the coaching lifestyle allows the wife to be in control. The coach is barely in control. He is still at the mercy of the athletic department, the fans, the parents, the players, the other coaches, the support staff, etc.
My Coach laughs at me when I ask for his input on how I should proceed with changes to our routine after a loss. He knows that I know everything mentioned above and how it doesn’t really help, yet I do it anyway. (This is also ironic because he has his own superstitious rituals that he participates in – not shaving until the first loss, wearing a guardian angel on his sport jacket, keeping a dog tag with the kids and my name on it in his pocket – just to name a few.)
But, research has shown the superstitious rituals are actually beneficial. If nothing else, they ease anxiety over uncertain outcomes.
People only develop superstitious rituals for circumstances that are very important to them. We are not out there eating the same meal before mowing the lawn every time or wearing the same outfit every time we go to the grocery store.
The outcome of each game is probably the most important to the wives, if you really think about it. It is more than just winning and losing, and more than just the time put in to be able to execute a good performance. It is about the continual sacrifice of missed time with family and friends. It is about the years of dedication and belief in Coach’s dream. And yes, it is about the livelihood of the family, being able to have a secure revenue to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. So, if anyone should be superstitious, it is the wives.
So, you may look like a hot mess and smell like 5 games worth of blood, sweat, and tears, but keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing a great job!