If you have been following this blog, you know by now that I am a wife, mother to 5 kids, preschool teacher, freelance writer for the Spectrum, and of course, a runner. What you may not know is that I am also the wife of a high school soccer coach. Of all the busy things that seem to consume our wonderful life, this is the one that has perhaps brought us the most stress.
Some who read this, may not agree with it entirely, but such is life, and I needed to get my thoughts out in the best way I know how…writing them down. And as a disclaimer, this is not endorsed or encouraged by my husband. These are merely my thoughts and perspectives on things. He loves to coach, and most of who he deals with are positive. There are just those darn few
First of all, I want to write a little about my amazing husband, Adam. We met in college on the cross country team. He was the one who stood out, and not because he was the life of the party. Quite the opposite. He is one of–if not THE most quiet and humble men you will ever meet. He stood out because of the quiet way in which he went about doing what he set out to do. He was the top 800 meter runner on the team as well as in the Mid-Continent Conference, clocking a 1:49.XX. He also ran 47 seconds in the 400, a 4:07 mile, as well as running in the low-mid 15:00 for a 5k. He is a phenomenal athlete, and you will probably only hear about it here, because he would never tell you.
Track and cross country were not his only sports. When he was younger, he played soccer, where he was good enough to play on the ODP (Olympic Development Team). I love to watch him play soccer, as he is one of the most tactical, smart and clean players I have ever seen. Such a pure athlete.
My kind husband didn’t go searching for praise and notoriety; in stead, he wanted to share his love for the game by becoming a high school coach.–By the way, the 10 cents an hour (which is what it works out to be) wasn’t an issue–he wanted to be a coach. He was blessed to be hired on as the varsity girl’s soccer coach. A dream come true! He got to share his love for soccer! Doesn’t that sound great?!
…Well…if that was all that came with the job, then, yes. But, as some may know, coaching is not just that. There are all the logistics…fundraising, budgeting, and more…then there is dealing with people who think they could do a better job…yeah, those people.
I’m not here to tell you he is perfect–nobody is. But as a wife of a coach, it saddens me more than anything to have him come home daily from practice and games, with his head hanging low because of terrible things that were said to him or about him by players, parents and others. It is bullying at its worst.
Sure, we all look at our children and believe that they are the greatest things to ever have been put on this earth! If we didn’t, then we would be terrible parents. As a mom of little soccer players, I know the pit in your stomach that you get when you see that your child isn’t playing as much, or when the coach has to talk sternly to them. It is as if they are attacking you, the parent. Realize, though that it is not an attack on you, or more importantly, not on your child. The coach is doing their best to produce the best result for your child and the team.
I remember playing varsity basketball, and going through a real funk. I was better than I was playing, but just wasn’t producing. After being a starting point guard, my coach put me back on JV. This was a very difficult thing for me, as I felt like I was being “demoted.” It stung for a while, but I realized that it was up to me to earn that spot back. Once I realized that, and put in the work I needed to perform at the varsity level, I was able to get back where I needed to be.
I apologize if this sounds harsh. I don’t mean it at all. I would just like for parents and players to be able to perhaps, look at things from a perspective other than their own, and to be respectful to their coaches. Before you send out that unkind email or yell and scream–take a breath, think before you act, and talk to the coach in a respectful and kind manner. Know that they are human. They have families which they at times have to neglect, to help your children. Be respectful, and know that your actions are also hurting your children. Let them take care of things—let them enjoy the game–let them play!
I want to eventually make a transition into teaching high school and hopefully I will be able to get an opportunity to coach basketball. I know that this is going to be something that will eventually bother me even though my main goal will be to make the kids on the team better basketball players and people. My high school basketball experience was tarnished by a coach who paid too much attention to the parents and not enough to the kids. It sounds like your husband is doing his best and I hope he is able to find a way to relieve some of the stress.
Thanks. Unfortunately much of the administration encourages disgruntled parents by often siding with them. Parents need to realize that they have a place, but allow their child to deal with things on their own. Parents just make things more difficult than they should be, unfortunately.
Good luck on your goals of becoming a teacher/coach! I’m sure you will do great! It really is a great life and very conducive to family. By the way, what subject(s) would you like to teach?
I am a history major so when I eventually make my way into teaching I hope to teach that.
That’s awesome! My husband teaches World Civ., and loves it! Good luck!
Wonderful, interesting writing and very politely and firmly put. Really good point about letting our children earn their spot. I think we need to help our children realize what to do with their feelings about something rather than us always stepping in for them, which, like you said, is more damaging to them than anything. I was good friends in junior high and high school with your mother in law and knew of Adam as a baby but it was great to read about him as an adult. I’m impressed.
Thanks for your comment, Lori. I agree so much with what you said. Too many parents try to step in and fix things for their children, when they really should let them iron it out for themselves. This teaches them to be more responsible adults.
I am so glad to hear that you know Holly. I couldn’t have asked for a better mother-in-law 🙂 She raised a wonderful son 🙂
Arianne, you and Adam are the greatest examples of what all people should be. This is one of my favorite poems:” Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexations to the spirit”. You have such a calming spirit. I wish I could be more like you, and I am sure my kids wish I were too. Thankyou!
Oh, I think you are wonderful, Trish :). Thank you ❤
Hats off to your husband for sticking with it. He must really love coaching and must care for the sport and the players. In a perfect world, those parents will be infinitely cooperative and supportive and let their kids play without intervening, but we do live in an imperfect world, unfortunately. I don’t mean to sound there aren’t anything you could do to make things better, but when I feel like there are no easy way out, I tell myself ‘Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional’. It must be painful and discouraging when he gets attacked, but I hope he has a bigger heart to absorb all that for the love of the sport and players.
Very true. There also comes a point when you need to decide how much you’re going to take. He still enjoys coaching, but has decided to do it on a club level, in stead. High school sports has just gotten to be too much. It is nice to have a happy husband again 🙂