You, Sweet Wife, are the Pacesetter—Without you, He Won’t Finish the Race
Pacesetter: A runner or competitor who sets the pace at the beginning of a race or competition, sometimes to help another runner break a record.
Pacemaker: Pacemakers may be used to avoid the tactics of deception by those who race away from the start line (and later slow down), giving the other runners the impression they are far behind. Pacemakers keep the runners at a speed that they can manage for the rest of the race.
Coaching is such a hard profession. It is competitive and high stakes and our men seem hard-wired to thrive in it. However, sometimes it takes so much time and effort that it puts our sweet husbands at risk of burnout.
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.
Like the definition above, a pacesetter wife helps her husband run at a speed that yields optimal results.
She considers the entire race/career ahead, giving him essential information he needs at different points in the course.
She strides beside him, in awe of his strength but aware of his humanity.
Like the pacesetter in a very long race, she pays attention to how fast he is going and she encourages him to slow down sometimes―not so he falls behind, but so he’ll be able to keep going.
Pacesetter wives are the ones who remind him that no matter how far ahead everyone else may seem, God is still in control. We meet him on the field after a tough loss and tell him to stay the course and keep the faith.
The pacesetter wife is the one who, out of her love for him, helps him run the race in a way that is maintainable and honorable. The ways she helps him means that he will be able to keep going without sacrificing his health or true priorities.
My fellow wives, I need you to hear how valuable this role is to your family.
Being a coaching family is an incredible gift. It allows our children and our husbands to celebrate hard work, perseverance, giving their all, and sacrificing for something bigger than themselves.
But, your role as a pacesetter means your family will also get the chance to see what it means to value self-care, prioritize family, and honor the “little” moments that matter as these men chase their incredible, exciting careers.
So, the next time you encourage your coach to get a little sleep, keep the family a moment longer at dinner, or play some soft music in the car to help your kids dial down, you are pacesetting.
When you go for an extra lap around the track after practice to connect, watch the sunset over the press box, or pray over the Subway you carried into the gym, you are pacesetting.
When you help everybody slow their roll, expand their perspective, and remember what really matters in the whole big scheme of it all, you are exactly what they need. You are a pacesetter.
I hope yours truly appreciates you!
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.