I have been waiting for the release of Jonathan Moore’s documentary Coaches’ Wives since I first saw it advertised on social media about a year ago. It was worth the wait.
As a coach’s wife, I spent most of the film nodding and smiling in agreement with my fellow members of this sisterhood and several moments in tears as I was overcome with pride and a smattering of other emotions.
Moore did an excellent job of capturing the stories of multiple coaches’ wives, including his own mother. Throughout each thematic point in the documentary, I saw snapshots of how similar all our experiences are yet how different they still can be. Every coaching family has different experiences, yet there is still so much we all experience and understand. It isn’t a matter of “the right way” to be a coach’s wife over the “wrong way.” We’re all doing our best to figure out how to hang on while riding this roller coaster.
One of my favorite parts of the film was in the few minutes leading up to the hour mark: Moore asked the wives if they felt they had their own identities or if they were primarily identified as the coach’s wife. The responses were all over the spectrum, but the most common response was a resounding “BOTH!” This, along with nearly everything in the film, was so relatable. I, like many of the wives in the documentary expressed, am primarily a coach’s wife at the field, but away from the field, I am me. (As an introvert, I don’t mind being “coach’s wife” at the field; it some ways, it takes some of the pressure off.)
I started this blog just over a year ago as a way of expressing what it means to be a coach’s wife, at least what it means to me. My story is simultaneously unique and one of many similar stories. Nearly all coaches’ wives “get it” even if they don’t make all the same decisions. And, of course, no one makes all the same decisions.
In this documentary, Moore captures that dynamic so perfectly. While I am not in the film, my story is.
Anyone with any involvement in sports should watch this film. You do not need to be a coach or a coach’s spouse to appreciate the stories. Athletes, parents of athletes, and community members would benefit from watching this film and getting to know a bit more about our stories.