And in a world, a culture, and an industry where women feel obligated to give until they break, I think that’s the best example of what any one should be, not just a head coach’s wife.
We know coaches are a tough crowd this time of year. So to lighten your load, we thought we'd do the heavy lifting for you. We asked over 150 wives in the FNW Facebook group which Christmas gifts their coaches loved most and compiled a list of our 10 favorites to help you out this holiday season.
This is part of marriage. It’s not as if one of you is choosing to only be 20% or 50% or whatever percent. The percentage may be dictated by what’s going on with your job, with your children, or with your family.
My husband began his career as a large high school’s Athletic Trainer and now serves as a middle school Athletic Coordinator. The high school in his cluster has many responsibilities given to their middle school coaches, including scouting trips, sideline responsibilities, game filming and more.
This year has been particularly challenging as the district opted to start a third football team for middle schools in both grade levels, adding another night when coaches stayed later and away from their families.
There were weeks when he had other responsibilities on top of just football, like PTA meetings and Meet the Teacher night. He tried to go cheer on other students at volleyball games and be a representative at Spirit Night fundraisers at local restaurants.
Sunday nights we usually had a calendar run down so I would know which nights we would even see each other before 9:00 pm.
Football season wears down even the strongest families as the weeks go on.
Months of telling your kids, “Daddy will be home after you go to bed, but you can give him hugs in the morning.” Making dinners while trying to help with homework and not just letting your kids zone out in front of the TV. (Trying, not always succeeding!) Happy conversations when his team wins and frustrated rants when something just isn’t clicking and they lose.
Every once in a blue moon, my husband will call me after an event has ended and just ask if I am okay with him grabbing some food and perhaps an adult beverage with another coach.
Here is where I want to share a magical piece of advice that a friend shared with me. She told me that when her husband would ask to go out with a friend, she would say yes unless there was a really big reason to say no.
“Save your no for when it really matters.”
I do appreciate that my husband is considerate enough to ask, and most of the time, it is already so late that all the kids are already in bed. Sure, I miss him and would appreciate some time for the two of us.
But I can also sense that when he asks for this extra time, it is because he needs to relax or build up a relationship with a fellow coach. Maybe they want to celebrate just making it through another week or maybe they want to talk X’s and O’s. I trust that the men that my husband hangs around are good guys and I don’t worry about what they are up to.
Plus, and here is the surprising best part, sometimes it doesn’t work out. There have been times when he texts me to check in, I say “Go for it,” and then he texts back to say that the other guys couldn’t go after all.
No criticism of their wives, because they may have had an exhausting night and really needed their husbands to get their booty back home. But then guess who still gets Wife Points for saying yes – Me!
My husband has learned that when I say no, it is because I genuinely need backup at home.
Maybe I am frantically trying to finish a school project that is due the next day, or I need him to pick up some groceries on the way home. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why it could be an “All Hands On Deck” evening at our casa.
The point is that we have that understanding between us. We respect that there are times when friends can refill your emotional tank, and as football season comes to an end I will try to schedule more of those opportunities for myself too.
It can be really tempting to be greedy of my husband’s time when I feel like it is already in such short supply this time of year.
However, the years have taught me that a coaching staff with great camaraderie is a special thing that can make the seasons better. If an occasional night out is one way to keep it going, I am going to try to say yes.
I am going to save my “Heck no!” for the night when I am up to my elbows in craziness, and then thank my husband for coming to my rescue.
Are you a coach’s wife? Join our online community and connect with other coaches’ wives in the same season as you.
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.
In case you are eyeball deep in a playoff run, constantly scrolling Football Scoop, about to start coaching yet another sport, or already looking at next year’s prospects, let me remind you that it is already December. This means your amazing, remarkable, beautiful, intelligent, epic wife/fiance/girlfriend is soon to need some gifts that match her amazing-ness.
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.
I knew it would be sad to lose a game. Or many games. Losing is never fun. Sure there would be sad times. But I didn’t know that we would always keep disappointment in tow. As a coach’s wife disappointment follows you like a flatbed truck and manifests itself in so many ways that can be hard to breathe.
In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, that is the one thing of which I am sure. Even if you don’t step on that field again, your senior season matters.
I hate this feeling of distance, like you're holding me at arms length, even if it's just to protect me. Protect me from issues at work. Protect me from hard stories. Protect me from the anxieties racing through your head.
It is easy to become frustrated with you when you haven’t been home for the 400th meltdown and for the 50th fight requiring a referee. It’s easy to not care about what you’ve been doing while I have been handling the home front, but I do truly care.
My goodness the magic of this month. The seasons starting to (finally) shift, sweater weather creeping in and, since I’m from Texas, the temperature outside is finally below the temperature of my pumpkin spice latte. Bring on fall!
Oh, and it’s Bandtober.
This month, a blur of activity and chaos swirls about our household. There is a football game each weekend and then mere hours before or after, there’s also a band competition—an event that typically runs 12-18 hours long dependent on our advancement during the contest.
There used to be a time where I would relish in dusting off of my knee high boots and finding a new fall lipstick color… add a pumpkin or two to my dining table and smell the sweetness of nutmeg and savor the thought. But Bandtober makes “wife-ing” a full contact sport—packing at least 3-4 meals weekly to be eaten on the road or perched curbside, and don’t even get me started on what juggling the man-cub and household chores turn into.
All I gotta say is: Thank You Curbside Pick Up Inventor.
The result of our choatic ballet is becoming a part of what I consider to be one of Texas’ greatest traditions. Regardless of where you’re from, I think we can all agree, there is an undeniable magic to Friday Night Lights.
It wasn’t until recently that I came to know not all teams have a band. For me at least, when I walk into the stadium, there’s just this amazing moment each game when the crowd roars alongside the cheerleaders chant in harmony underneath the glare of the stadium lights—and right alongside those groups, is where I live. When you hear that snare drum or tuba bass line and you unconsciously start dancing, that’s what fills my tank for the rest of the week.
It’s during those moments when all of these groups come together that make this life so wonderfully worth it. It takes everyone—the cheerleaders, the choir, the announcers and coaches, the football team and trainers, and yes, that marching band, to make a stadium more than just another stop on my map. It makes it home.
When you hear that mix of all those voices and music and heartbeats, it’s all of those beautiful groups coming together that give my heart strings the tug I seek.
Bless the hundreds of students and staff that congregate together to make all of those memories come to life. Every one of them has a different part to play, but every one of them has their school spirit in their hearts, and that’s where we unite together in our hard work and grit.
But for me, this month at least, I’m blessed to hear that very last note of the very last marching show for the year.
When you’re standing on the sidelines with tears falling knowing they gave it their all—it also means, I did too.
This month is all about getting to follow around my favorite musicians and watching them use their blessings. I think we find that with all of the sports sideline wives support. You cry at wins, at losses, and the progress in between. They are my kids—you want nothing but the highest honor bestowed on them. There is a peace in all of this chaos. Peace that God placed me here without explanation, but with purpose. I’m merely a supporting role in His perfection, but what a ride it is.
This month, if I may request, add me and my musical wives to your list of prayers we are all sharing. We are doing double time in a world where every beat counts.
Move over PSL …. Happy Bandtober!
If I was you, I would try supporting these men that give their energy, time, passion and love to your children ... using football as a tool to prepare them for life. Especially when your son is with the coach more than you. Get to know them, how you can help, get to know their families sitting next to you in the stands. I’m sorry if they made a play call you disagree with; they have quite a bit on their plate.
You, my husband, are what the world needs more of. A person who longs for the success of winning, but knows that life’s best and most important lessons are learned through the process.
When the alarm system dings for the open door, I feel a breath of relief exhale. A helper and a second teammate has finally entered the game.
Then, he sits in his arm chair and before I can ask how his morning went or what they ate for lunch, snores resound from his side of the room.
This thought continued to nag me. Why do I care? Because he doesn’t care. He finds it completely wasteful. He doesn’t need anything, and neither do I. So why do I want one?? Am I really that worldly?
But maybe it’s not about the gift,. Maybe it’s more about what the gift represents.
Suddenly, I have a teammate. And this teammate wants a say in things. (The nerve.) I buck against this relinquishing of control every single year. I hold it close to my chest, tight-fisted, wondering why you don't trust me, why you don't respect me, thinking, "Don't you REALIZE I'm fully capable of doing this on my own? Don't you REALIZE I've been doing it on my own for months?"
As awkward as that moment was, it was a reality check. Even though the season severely limits my husband’s time with our children, I am not a single parent. My friend reminded me it is worth the extra work to include Ordell in as many parenting decisions as possible even in the height of the craziest seasons.
There will be times that you may not fully understand my struggles. There will be times when the crazy feels too overwhelming. There will be times when you may not show us your love as well as I’d hoped, and vice versa. There will be times when you may feel like you aren’t giving your all. But the beauty of this is that good teammates don’t ever give up on each other.
What I do know is there will be many more days filled with tears as we drive away from the field. There will be many more missed moments and milestones that have to be sent to our coach via video. And there will be more days where 40 minutes is all we can get.
But there will be many more highs too.