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!