But as I begin to break down and cry out to my God, I’m reminded of this truth: I am not alone.
And then the games started, and everything intensified. Hours got even longer, game film, practice film, coaches meetings, etc.
It was all so much. I realized my naivety. I really had no idea what went into the sport.
The field house is home. I don’t know why we pay utility bills during the fall, because we are hardly home to use water and electricity. My husband puts more hours in at the field house than I see him in our own home.
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.
The sight that met me inside those doors was one I will never forget—and one I have not stopped loving since. There they were, a sea of men. Old and young, many with excellent beards, all of them wearing football apparel.
I’ve come to the conclusion that coaches' wives who develop 4 characteristics—patience, perspective, perseverance, and peace—end up being able to walk through this life with a little more determination and ease.
My whole family had been sick with a stomach bug. With four kids, this is the only thing they have shared with each other—and finally they shared it with me. I went to work feeling exceptionally queasy and left my daughter home with Coach. I felt awful until I came to the cafeteria and they …
Just like our brother Jonah, we go places we're not supposed to go because we're human and want to do our own thing. Discernment and wisdom are of God, and when we feel anxious about a move, it can be fear of the unknown OR it can be divine insight.
My first year as a head coach’s wife was filled with more learning than all the other fifteen years combined. I wasted a lot of time and energy waiting and wishing. I didn’t use the time I was given to make as big a mark as I could and should have because my focus was elsewhere.
“In track, there are all types of runners. There are sprinters. There are middle-distance runners. And, there are long-distance runners. Brother Roger was a middle-distance runner. His job was to do well in the time that he was given. And he did.”
He wants to be able to eat his popcorn and cheer for the team like every other parents gets to do. He wants to be able to silently (obviously in his mind, not loudly of course—after all we are still a coaching family and know how to act in the stands) question the coach’s play call. He wants our kid to learn from other coaches and not just from him.
When your unranked team faces a top ten team—hope sees the underdog come out on top.
When your team has never beaten a certain opponent—hope brings the game to end that losing streak.
When you are facing your cross-town rival in your State Championship—hope makes that unexpected victory so much sweeter.
The behind the scenes is where the nitty-gritty happens. The stuff no one sees is what really matters and the reason these men and women who are coaches do what they do.
What does this kinda-famous-by-proxy leadership mean during a pandemic…in an election year…in a time when civil rights and racial injustices are major societal players as well? Oh, and the hardships and heartaches unique to each community in typical circumstances—those haven’t gone away either.
Maybe changes need to be made. Maybe priorities and boundaries need to be set or straightened or reorganized. But also? Maybe your needs aren't being met by your husband because they were never supposed to be.
Because they love those kids and they love their jobs, they sometimes get going so fast they can’t keep up―and that’s where the pacesetter becomes valuable. For many families, that pacesetter is you.
It wasn’t that bad early in his career. But, several years ago we went through a couple of tough seasons and were (ahem) “not rehired.” That event took a toll on me I never would have anticipated. Now, I have to be very intentional about managing fear and anxiety during the season – even if the season is going well.
You’re used to a routine. And you function well with one, as do your kids. Getting the schedule every year and writing it all down in your perfectly picked out planner makes you feel at ease. You can control this. And control feels good. But now, it feels like you are spriraling.
But, I have come out of my typical “moving funk” years ahead of normal. All because I kept moving forward, doing the next right thing, even when I didn’t want to or didn’t feel like it. Unpack that box. Accept that invitation from a new neighbor. Decorate that room. Explore your new surroundings. Ask for (or accept) help.
These are stories we hear every year —
Coaches developing chronic panic attacks. Players suffering from depression or anxiety. Coaches becoming physically ill due to mental distress. Coaches and players struggling to navigate online criticism.