It is Spring Football in College , Pro-Day for the Hopeful, and Last but not Least, there is High School Football.
Off- season… what is that? There are never really any breaks.
I wish you knew the hours upon hours of prep that goes on before your kid ever steps foot on campus at the beginning of the school year. I wish you knew that the focus on next season starts literally the day after the current one ends.
I wish you knew that while he may be the head coach of a certain sport, in most cases, he is required to coach a second one. This means that for our family, in the span of one year, there are on average 14 weeks out of the year where he’s not working 60-80 hours per week. Where we can be a “normal” family. That number decreases by one the further we make it into football playoffs each year. So while we are faithfully cheering on our football team week after week, we know we are sacrificing precious family time with every win. We cheer anyway because we love these kids and believe in them. We believe in the program.
If only you understood that we, his family, are waiting for sometimes our first hug of the day until you’re done discussing what type of t-shirts you want the program to order this season. There are many mornings he wakes up before 5 am to go pick up an athlete who would not make it to morning lift without him, and on the other week days still manages to leave before any of us are up for the day. Those are the same days he may come home after we are in bed for the night.
I wish you knew that even during those 80 hour weeks, there are other responsibilities such as booster clubs, fundraisers, budgets, equipment orders and other things to manage. Phone calls are never ending. He takes the time to answer them and listen because it’s his job to do so.
Did you know that most likely your coach is also a teacher? There are lesson plans to be prepped, papers to grade, classes to teach and students to manage. I wish you knew how many times he’s voluntarily given up conference periods for athletes.
I wish you knew that if he’s hard on your kid, pushes them, expects more, it’s because he knows they are holding back. THEY WILL thank him for this one day. I wish you knew that as hard as he may appear, I’ve seen him help kids out who are in trouble in the middle of the night, counsel kids at parents request who just wouldn’t listen,and be a trusted ear when they need someone to talk to. I’ve seen him coach kids who were drafted, kids who would never touch a football again after high school, lose kids in accidents, and every one in between.
He would drop everything in a heartbeat if your son really needed him. He LOVES them all.
I wish you knew the sacrifices his own children make so that he can work with your sons. I wish you knew that when our girls were younger I worried a lot about them resenting him for this. I’ve learned, however, that they are so proud of their dad and they rejoice in his victories and their hearts break with his defeats. I wish you knew, though, that he will never get to coach his son’s own football team most likely- not until he’s in high school if he continues to play. I wish you knew how much that hurts him.
I wish you knew that we, his family, hear the insults from the stands, the second guessing because you obviously know more than he does. We read the social media jabs and hear about the aggressive emails. We smile anyway because that’s what we are supposed to do. We try not to take it personally. I wish you knew how hard it is to do that. But we do it anyway. Because it’s the right thing to do.
Your coach was hired as a professional and has a proven track record of success in his career. I wish you knew that despite this he is constantly being criticized to his players by men who don’t coach High School Football for a living. In fact, I wish you knew they assume he must know nothing because he coaches high school football for a living.
In Texas, High School Football is Mythic. “Friday Night” is just as important as a Saturday, Sunday or Monday night game.
I wish you would remember this man is a son, a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a colleague. I wish you knew he obviously doesn’t do this job for the money or the recognition. He does it because he loves the game, he loves kids, and he loves what the sport teaches them about life. I wish you knew he prays for your kids, and your families. Our family does too. All of us.
I don’t have any agenda for this except to remind you to stop and think about these coaches as what they are: Human. They aren’t perfect. Are you? They make mistakes. They own up to them. They rejoice in your sons’ triumphs and they hurt when they are hurt.
I wish you knew they are honestly doing the best that they can. And I wish you knew that just one positive affirmation for all of this can keep them going when exhaustion has left them hanging on by a thread.
More importantly, and most of all, I hope you know how much he loves this job.
This post was inspired by a Facebook Post from a beautiful Coach’s Wife who has put a lot of time in. Her words are beautiful and she “Gets It”!
Bourgeois, K. [Kristin]. (2015, November 15).I wish you knew the hours upon hours of prep that goes on before your kid ever steps foot on campus at the beginning of the school year. I wish you knew that the focus on next season starts literally the day after the current one ends. I wish you knew that while he may be the head coach of a certain sport, in most cases, he is required to coach a second one….[Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10201078078631988&id=1769119308