Dear Head Coach’s Wife,
This fall will be the first time in almost a decade that my “title” is coach’s wife rather than head coach’s wife, and I’m so relieved. As our new reality began to take shape, I found myself exhaling deeply for the first time in a long time. Even my parents observed that after spending a few hours with my husband, they don’t remember a time when they’ve seen him smile so much or look so relaxed. And while saying this out loud makes me chuckle, it also reminds me that you, head coach’s wife, need my prayer and support.
Don’t get me wrong. My husband was an excellent head coach for many years. He was successful on the field, and he faced challenges. But, most importantly, he understands the opportunity a coach has to develop men through sports. He understands athletics is an avenue to sharpen future amazing husbands, employees, and citizens through the ministry of football. When he coached at the college level, he spent hours pouring into his staff, seeking to develop their leadership skills and football knowledge.
As the head coach, he also faced every criticism from the public, administration, staff, and team. As the head coach, he understood he was associated with every negative situation, whether he was present or completely unaware of the details.
I’ve often said that you have to be slightly insane to place your family’s financial stability in the hands of 16–21-year-old men committing to do the right thing at the right time 365 days a week for four years. Whether you’re coaching high school or college ball, you know you’re setting yourself up for failure with those odds! And really, why should we expect athletes to behave better than the adults in the room? (But that’s a question to answer in a different post 😉)
Today dear head coach’s wife, I’m writing to you. I want you to know that I understand your burden as one who has walked years in your shoes.
- I know how lonely it is to invite your staff wives to your home, only to learn later they prefer to hang out together without you.
- I know how difficult it is to bite your tongue as you hear how unfair your husband’s decision to require the coaching staff to work is, even though he’s worked longer hours than anyone else on staff.
- I understand how challenging it is to walk the line of representing your husband and team well while also pursuing your own dreams and passions.
- I know what it’s like to feel the loss of staff leaving because they insist you aren’t treating them as well as they deserve even though you know your husband is bending over backward to do everything he possibly can to make that coach (and his wife) as welcome as possible.
But here’s the thing head coach’s wife, for every challenging situation I understand, there are ten amazing that flood my mind. Coaching is a ministry that includes a constant rotation of new people to serve. This means that our mission field will change every year whether we move on or our entire staff remains the same.
With that in mind, my prayer for you this year is specific. I hope you’ll find it applicable.
We lift up our head coaching families this season. As we enter a new (and likely uncertain) season, we will need to establish what “normal” looks like in a post-pandemic world. This is a challenge for every leader. However, I believe our head coaches are facing a particular burden this year. God, please give them your compassion and empathy for their athletes this year. Help them discern when to ask for more and understand their athletes are truly giving everything they can on a particular day.
God, we know as our coaches will be on the field, coaches’ wives will strive (and struggle) to support their husbands, children, and juggling everyday life. So we pray specifically for our head coaches’ wives today.
Every coach’s wife needs your shoulder to lean on, but today I’m asking that you give head coaches’ wives an extra dose of encouragement this season. Please provide them with a cheerleader in their community who they can lean on in difficult moments. Please help them to walk the tightrope of public and private lives in their communities well. Finally, God, I ask that you give our head coaches’ wives ideas on deepening family bonds within the staff best.
We pray that our head coaches’ wives won’t feel they need to put their passions, dreams, and desires on hold this year. Instead, we ask that you show them how they can thrive in their callings in partnership with you.
Thank you for loving our head coaching families. Remind those of us on staff with head coaches and head coaches’ wives who seek to serve us that we are likely being protected from more conflict than we realize. Please help us to be grateful even in frustrating moments and to remember the bigger picture.
Coaching is an amazing opportunity to reflect your love and character. Help us all to do so to the best of our ability.