Saturday, May 29, 2010
I'm A Coach's Wife
I'm the coach's wife. It's not easy. It's not a job I asked for. Not a position I am trained for. I don't love it. But I need to be supportive. I need to stand behind my man. And this also means my husband has stepped up to the plate (no pun intended since I am talking about softball). He is involved. He is doing. And did I mention he does it for free??
Dan has coached for years. I've always thought he would be a good football coach for a high school team. He coached Emily's YMCA soccer team for almost 5 years. He had pretty much the same group of girls through those years. For the last couple of years he has helped coach Hannah's softball teams and then last year he stepped up even more and is, I guess you would call an assistant coach.
I will be the first to admit this is very hard on me. Dan does not do this job half assed. He goes full throttle. (Mmmmmm - make me think of the drink. Sounds good but that's an energy drink and I need to sleep tonight). Anyway - this has caused friction in our marriage. This takes a lot of time away from our family and family time. Daddy doesn't get to go to all of Emily and Benjamin's activities if Hannah has practice or a game. Did I mention this is for two teams? The city league and the travelling team Hannah is on. Did I mention that they practice all year long? Inside in the winter, we live in Montana after all.
But this is what Dan has signed up for. This is what Dan wants to do. I think Hannah, the middle child, loves having this connection, this time, one on one with her Dad too. I need to be supportive. Stand behind my man.
Have I mentioned that Dan has a very, very competitive side? Oh, he does. If you have ever played a sport with Dan or even a game of Rummy you know. Dan wants his teams to win. He wants the team he is affiliated with to succeed. Dan can be intense. Is this a bad thing?
I am hearing criticism this year on Dan's style of coaching. Out of four coaches one has to step up and use some authority. Be somewhat harsh - encourage but really push. Dan is that coach. It's hard. I had always wondered if being a coach's wife meant that I had to sit somewhere else just so I couldn't hear what others were saying. I didn't. I'm a people person. But now I'm wondering if I should. Or should have. When Dan coached Emily's soccer team he was 10x more intensive than he currently is and this was with younger girls. No parents ever said anything - they loved that he was pushing their girls to be the best. Push themselves. He has stepped back and tries to think before he "coaches". But still some moms are upset. I find it interesting too that it's "moms". Yes it is a mom's job to keep our children safe but they also need to learn to be tough, especially when they are playing sports. Are the dads okay with this style?
Hannah is on competitive teams. Not YMCA teams where everyone plays,no one wins and every player gets an atta girl at the end. This is different. The girls are to be competitive. Have a drive. Want to win. They try out and are picked for these teams. They practice all year long. They are to earn their spot on the field. I get frustrated watching sometimes. I guess I have a competitive side too. I want to win. I want the girls to catch that fly ball. I want the girls to hit that ball over the fence, or at least swing at it. Sometimes I think a coach needs to step up and show some emotion. Tell them they gotta get that next time. Not well shucks, maybe next time.
I think back to all my coaches. I don't remember any of my coaches not pushing me or my teammates to be the best we can be. To try harder next time. I don't feel it's a coach's job to baby the kids. It's the coaches job to train the kids to play the sport. To learn the sport. To be tough. I can't think of one soft coach I had. They all were in your face coaches. Spit in your face because they were so upset. I survived. I still try to play sports. I'm not damamged. Not that this is Dan's style. I'm just sayin.
I'm a coach's wife. It's not easy. It's not a job I asked for. Not a position I am trained for. I don't love it. But I need to be supportive. I need to stand behind my man. And this also means my husband has stepped up to the plate (no pun intended since I am talking about softball). He is involved. He is doing. And did I mention he does it for free??