Written by Jeanette Morris
In my 24 years as a coach's wife, the best decision I made was to join my husband in his passion as a football coach. This connected us and made us feel like a team each season, through the good times and bad times. Not only did I get to watch him live out his passion, but I also walked alongside him the entire way as a teammate. He knew I would always be a stable rock by his side through the ups and downs and wins and losess that he could depend on. Supporting my coach on and off the field was a non-negotiable in my daily life.
Being a football coach’s wife requires a lot of sacrifices - solo or single parenting, handling being home alone, and keeping the family unit running without my partner present. But even with all of these sacrifices, the rewards outweigh the stresses - because what they do is about more than just winning a game.
How to Support Your Coach
Supporting my coach has been an essential part of my life these past 2 decades. If you’re struggling in your role as a coach’s wife, here are a few ways that you can support your coach on and off the field throughout the season:
- Celebrate the wins on the field and be there to hug him after the losses. Football season is a series of high highs and low lows. It’s important to be there for your husband throughout the entire season, during the positives and negatives.
- Listen to him talk or vent about the ups and downs of his day. Like the game day wins and losses, supporting your coach daily is so important. Whether it’s dealing with personnel issues, difficult practices, or tough player decisions, the entire season is full of ups and downs, and it’s important to be there every step of the way!
- Relive each play with him on a Saturday morning over coffee. Not only do you get to bond over last night’s football game, but it gives you two a chance to have one-on-one time before the kids wake up! And don’t worry, this won’t be the last time you relive the game throughout the weekend.
- Give him space when he needs it. Supporting your coach means being there for all the ups and downs throughout the season. When it comes to losing, give him the time and space he needs to decompress and get over it. Remind him that you’re there to support him if/when he needs it but also respect his alone time.
- Praise your husband in front of your children. When they’re younger, they might not understand why their dad is gone late at night or early in the morning. If he’s missing the nightly bedtime story, read your kids a book explaining exactly what he does! Make sure to constantly remind your kids how important their dad’s job is as a coach! While he’s gone those odd hours, tell the kids he is working hard and that he can’t wait to get home to see them. Supporting your coach in front of your kids is so important!
- Involve your children in the football program. Even if it is from a distance, making your kids seem part of dad’s job will make them more receptive to those early mornings and late nights when he’s gone. Have the kids help you pack snacks and take them to practice. Even if they only got to see him from a distance and wave, they still love being able to see him coaching, and he loves that we made an effort to be there.
- Learn the players by name and number. This allows you to be engaged at each game, get to know the parents, and discuss the game more in-depth with your husband. Supporting your coach means supporting the entire team!
- Listen to your husband dream. Sometimes the dreams are scary because it might mean moving or taking on a new role as a coach. But it’s so important to listen to his dreams and be there to support him!
- Pray for your husband. I learned early on that I needed to trust that God has my coach and our family in His hands, and I need to pray daily.
“A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.” - Billy Graham
His Biggest Fan
There are many ways to support your coach on and off the field! You don't need to do all of these, but just doing a few things (or coming up with other ideas that work better for you) can help bring the family closer together and help prevent resentment during the ups and downs of football season!
Let us know in the comments how you support your coach during football season!
Jeanette Morris has been a coach’s wife for 24 years at 6 different high schools. She had 4 kids in 5 years and was a stay-at-home mom for 17 years. She has taught and coached high school and is currently on staff with FCA.