When you sign your marriage license with a coach, there are several things not included in the fine print.
They don’t tell you how much you have to keep track of. Recently, I saw an image on Twitter posted by a basketball coach’s wife with the words, “I realized early on that his job was to coach, and my job was everything else.” Everything else includes household chores and keeping track of due dates for bills. The coach may be better at some of these things, but the coach simply does not have time.
They also don’t tell you that not all coaches have spouses. It seems simple enough, but as the only coach’s wife on our current staff, I have learned that it is often my responsibility to help with miscellaneous errands the other coaches don’t have time for. Need a dog-sitter? My wife can do it. Tired? My wife will pick up an energy drink for you. Forget to pay your rent? My wife can take care of that too.
They don’t tell you how creative you need to be. You need to be financially creative. You need to learn to pack creatively and schedule creatively. The team’s equipment might need to fit in the trunk of your Honda Civic, or you may need to actually be in two places at once. And you need to find creative ways to encourage your spouse as well as the rest of the team. If you can also be creative with baking, cooking, or crafts, that is only a bonus.
They don’t tell you that you’ll face heartache alongside others. When one of the athletes encounters a tragedy or a hardship, your spouse is one of the first to know. This means you need to know how to respond when a young man loses a loved one or is diagnosed with a terminal illness. You need to know how to respond when an athlete gets into trouble with the law. You become a relationship counselor and a financial counselor. The team becomes a family, and you and your spouse are the parents of that family.
They don’t tell you how much you will matter to people you barely know. When I meet out-of-town parents for the first time, they often thank me for everything I do for their sons. A father once told me he thanks God every day that my husband and I are in his son’s life. A mother thanked me for loving her son as she does. These things bring tears to my eyes because I am just living my life and supporting my husband in the best ways I know how, but to these people I hardly know, the little things I do matter. If it can matter to them, surely it can matter to God.