Dear Fans in the Stands,
I'm married to the coach of the team you're cheering for tonight. As you sit and mingle and yell and have fun, there are a few things I want you to understand.
First of all, the packed house tonight isn't coincidental. It's not because the players are popular or have large families. It's because of all the work done behind the scenes by the coaching staff to grow the program and build excitement. It's because of the years of building positive relationships between the program and local businesses. The coaches and staff did this. It took strategy and time and hard work.
We all have different opinions about who should play or what calls should be made. And that's ok (I certainly don't always agree with Coach, either!) Just remember that these are kids out there. KIDS. And their moms and dads are sitting next to you. So yell, cheer, feel all the feelings, but watch what you say.
While I'm on it, I may as well remind you that I, the coach's wife, am sitting beside you, too. And I have thick skin and can (and do!) roll my eyes silently at you all night long. But we have kids, and they are sitting here every Friday night listening to what you say about their daddy. Would you want your kids to have to listen to someone talk crap about you for two hours a week? I don't think so.
I just wish you understood what all Coach has done for this program.
I wish you knew that when you load up and leave here tonight to go home to sleep, my husband will be up until 3am working on next week's film. And then he will get up at 7 the next morning to do it all over again. And he won't stop preparing and strategizing and calling the other coaches and planning out drills and play calls for the next week.
I wish you knew that when he yells at your kid, it's because he sees something in him and knows he can be better.
I wish you knew that when he doesn't yell at another kid, it's because he's so mad that he's choosing self control so that he doesn't say something he will regret.
I wish you understood that Coach doesn't even have time or energy to pick a favorite.
I wish you knew how much time he spends working even when he's not on the field. Parent meetings and investing in the youth programs and area coaches meetings and safety and concussion trainings are just the tip of the iceberg.
I wish you knew that on top of all of that, he works 40+ hours at his day job throughout the season, too. As a teacher, mine spends his days investing in the lives of his students, challenging them to be the best they can be.
I wish you knew how much he loves these kids. Our conversations at home about them have little to do with football and everything to do with the choices they are making, who they are becoming, and what's in store for their future. We care about who they are as people more than as the number on their back.
When they win, he gives all the credit to the players. When they lose, he takes all the blame. There's not much glory in coaching.
Find a moment at least once this season to thank a coach for the work they do. They'll dismiss it and act like it was nothing, but, as a coach's wife, I promise you it means so much to them.
So I'm glad you're here tonight. I hope you eat some good junk food and have fun catching up with friends during the game. Thanks for keeping these things in mind as you cheer for our team tonight.
-The Coach's Wife-
Kayla Fox is the wife of a high school football coach and mom to four ridiculous kids. When she is not at the football field, she is doing laundry, going to Target, and working at The Fly Fox Apparel, a coach's wife boutique. To learn more, go to www.theflyfoxapparel.com.