The Best Vacation You’ve Never Been On With Your Coach
Girls, I have a secret. I L-O-V-E love going to coaching clinics. Yep, you know the ones in January and February where our husbands leave us in the cold dark winter weather to go learn more about coaching? Those are the ones. Glazier, Nike, AFCA, doesn’t matter. They’re all great. Let me sell you on the vision…
Top 10 Reasons to Go with Your Coach to a Clinic
- It’s a win-win-win-(possible) win. He gets to learn more about his craft. You get time to yourself to do whatever fills your soul. You get time together. And, if your school/booster picks up the bill it’s free! That’s no stock photo at the top. Those are my size 12 sparklers sitting in front of the hotel fireplace getting ready to write this very article and then read my book. Heavenly.
- Because he might really want you there. My presence usually gets two different responses at coaching clinics. The first is the confused coach. He’s not quite sure why I am there. I assure him with a smile that I have no intention of interfering on his dude’s weekend and he may proceed as planned. The other one is the sad coach. He’s the one who left his beautiful bride at home with a trail of guilt following him all the way to the hotel. He misses her. He would love to have her there with him. I know this because they tell me. “I wish my wife would come with me to one of these.”
- If he’s speaking, you can fan girl. It can be a super cool experience to see him educating his peers. I usually sit way in the back and send him texts about how cute he looks. Pro tip: If you are a super geek coach’s wife like me it is also neat to catch glimpses of the “legendary” coaches you have heard about walking around with their hands full of state championship rings…it’s like seeing a celebrity but for our weird little world.
- Because you can take your tribe. As often as I can I try to take other coach’s wives with me. I love spending time by myself but I also love a car trip and shopping/spa/movie/fooding/whatever with my girls. I have incredible memories of the fun I’ve had with them while the menfolk are busy at clinics all day.
- Because seeing grown men attempt frat boy life again is amusing. Some coaches use clinics to think and some coaches use clinics to drink. “Hey, third-string-running-backs-middle-aged Coach Steve…you have not drank like that since college. You may want to rethink the cooler with the wheels and case of Natty under each arm.”
- Because we are growing in number. When I started going years ago I was definitely a unicorn. Now I see other wives every time I go. We see each other in the elevator, accompanied by our quarter-zip wearing mascot bedecked husbands with buzz cuts and facial hair and we smile at each other with the knowing affection of women who get each other. Occasionally I also see a female coach. She is the true unicorn and maybe one of my heroes.
- Because it is actually kind of cool to learn about some of this stuff. The vendors at these events are selling everything from video equipment to the latest helmets and shoulder pads. The technology and research that goes into making this game better is actually really interesting. Your husband will think you are extra adorable when you chat with him about things like donut tackle dummies.
- Because it is an example. We know all too well that coaching families are under deep strain because of the demands of this lifestyle. Most coaches don’t want to destroy their families with their commitments but they also sometimes don’t know quite how to weave the two together either. This is a creative solution for time together that may work for some people.
- You will be the envy of all your friends. Pro tip: Do not say, “I am going to a coaching clinic with my husband” to people who don’t get this life. They think you are nutty enough already. Do say, “I am going away this weekend to (insert cool metropolitan city name) to stay in a nice hotel and enjoy some me time.”
- You might make out. I mean, not on Friday night because you are going to be so tired. And maybe not Saturday because you are going to be really full from the late night out dinner after sessions ended. But maybe on Sunday really quickly before you have to check out because it seems a shame to waste a hotel room like that.
So girls…talk to your coach. Secure the time off and the babysitter and join me in this unique little way to vaca and get some time with your beloved. It may just become one of your favorite coaching life traditions.
Anne is an author, speaker, professional counselor, marriage and family therapist and veteran coaches wife. She and her husband Tim have two children and they have been a coaching family through a state championship run and very difficult losing seasons. They are passionate about encouraging coaching families both in and out of season.