We treat them like men and expect them to be tough but they are still someone’s little boy. And this morning, for many of them, their hearts are bruised and broken.
Did you recently start dating a coach? Are you tired of wondering if the bleacher coaches actually know what they’re talking about? If you’re a coach’s wife or a fan in the stands who gets a little lost during chats with your husband, son, dad, or other football fanatics, this post is for YOU! Here’s …
It was a cold Friday night during football season. I was helping sell merchandise to raise money for the football program. In the midst of football season, I potty trained our daughter. Everyone told me it was a bad idea, but what can I say? I like to march to the beat of my own …
Hello to the people who get us.
To the folks who know the ins and outs—the survival skills—to battle this season.
Hello to our stadium sister-wives—our side-chicks, our bleacher babes—and hello to our coaches' kids clan.
When I walk out of my room, the bright light stings my eyes. Mom asks why I’m up so early but she already knows the answer. It’s Friday. I’m too excited to sleep on Game Days. “Like father, like son,” Mom says. She gets me. I love Fridays.
A couple of days ago I was unbuckling our oldest when she looked up at me and said, “Daddy’s never coming back.” “What?” I was so confused. Then through tear-filled eyes, she whispered, “He’s always at work.” My heart broke into a million pieces. It was true. He had just worked a 90+ hour week …
You see, my husband is a high school football coach, and he’s been married to the game for a really, really, long time. They were a thing long before he and I were a thing. And when we started dating, I had to come to terms with the rules of engagement.
So, whether we go to a cookout, munch on samples at Costco, or even vacation across international waters, he’s almost always guaranteed to be wearing at least one high school football item.
Yes, football and being a football family requires physical demands and emotional commitments from everyone involved. There are so many lonely dinners and difficult bath times. There are so many rushed labor-day cookouts and daddy-less trick-or-treats. There are so many tears from kids who miss their daddies -- and occasionally from mamas missing them too. Because there may not be crying in baseball, but believe me, there is crying in football. A lot of crying.
But most of those tears are the good kind.
If you give a coach a scrap of paper, he’s going to want a pen.
When you give the coach the pen, he will draw a play on that scrap paper.
After he draws the play, he is probably going to want a chair to sit down and think about it.
6. Bring a friend.
This is for the older ones, but bringing one of your kid's friends along is easy entertainment. Occasionally, it'll be closing in on the end of the fourth, and I'll have no idea where a kid is because they've been playing somewhere with their friend.
Whatever conversation others may have with me in hopes I will share with my husband, will NEVER get to him! The coach’s spouse is often treated like a side door into the coach’s office. No, we don’t know what our husband is going to do about playing time. No, I don’t know our husband is going to handle your child missing practice. No, I don’t know why freshmen are playing more than the upperclassmen.
Yes, we step into that space and remind our men of the kids who do listen … of the kids who become adults and still reach out … of the kids who needed a surrogate father … of the kids who played out of their shoes … of the kids who just need one caring adult and our men stepped into the space, the space between winning and losing—and that made all the difference.
It's true. He might not have done anything wrong. But it begs the question, Why would you ever put yourself in that position? Male coaches: mentoring female students is NOT YOUR JOB.
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.
You, and me, and thousands of coaches’ wives all over this country are in this together. Knowing we are done where we are, possibly unsure of where we are headed, but all collectively grieving, trying not to worry, and praying.
I go because that’s how I show up for him, my Coach. Because our marriage isn’t all about me, it’s about us. Loving him means loving football. So, I will travel to all the games. Because it matters to him that I am waiting for him at the end of the game.
I am not just a coach's wife and that's okay. I'm allowed to be selfish and think about myself and my other identities. I'm a wife, a daughter, a friend, an educator, an advocate, and a fur mom.
We are partners in ife. For us, that life includes football and all it entails. Please know, Coach, just because you are in-season, that doesn’t mean my needs are put on hold. I don’t need less of your time or attention. I don’t need less of your focus or your love. I don’t need less physical closeness and intimacy.
Thank you for teaching your athlete to respect their coach. To try their hardest in school and at practice. If there is a concern, thank you for teaching your child to come to coach instead of badmouthing to peers.