As the school year starts up so do lots of other extracurricular activities. Chances are some sports started with practice several weeks ago and the leaders and coaches of all of these groups started planning and thinking about the season long before that. My husband is a middle school sports coach and has been since we started dating over 10 years ago. Things have changed quite a bit in those 10 plus years as we went from dating to being married and to now having two young children. As the spouse of a dedicated coach, there are a couple things I want you to know going into this new season of sports and activities.
Coaches are committed. It takes a lot of energy and time to coach or lead any activity. There is planning, phone calls, emails, and first aid trainings just to name a few. In my husband’s case (and in many cases with elementary and middle school-aged sports and activities), this is not his full-time job. He works his regular 9-5 and then goes straight to the field for practices and games. Many nights during the season he misses dinner with our family and sometimes our kids are asleep before he gets home. This is definitely a sacrifice for all of us, but also one that is worth it (most days). Coaching is a passion for him and many others and the benefit to him and the kids he is influencing both on and off the field outweighs the sacrifice. He is committed for the long haul. He continues to root your kids on, going to their high school games, keeping up with and encouraging them through social media, and even following their college careers.
With all of that being said, there are a few things I need to ask of you as the coach’s wife:
1. Please pick your kids up from their activities on time. Things happen like unexpected traffic and emergencies which are totally valid. However, everyone has busy, hectic schedules and those extra 10 minutes waiting could be the difference between my girls getting to say goodnight to their daddy or not.
2. Before you go to pick up that phone or pull the coach aside to discuss the game or question playing time or play calls, think before you speak. Coaches spend countless hours going over plays and watching the kids at practice, so take a moment to trust their expertise and then ask your questions in a respectful manner. Oh, and if you’re in the stands questioning the coach’s decision making, sometimes I’m in the stands, too – and I can hear you.
3. Finally, give those coaches in your life some extra appreciation. Recognize their sacrifice and commitment and you will make their day. Plus, their spouse who is holding down the fort at home will get that extra boost of encouragement, too, that it’s all worth it.
I know being a sport’s parent isn’t easy either, so good luck to us all this season and see you out there!