Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Coach's Wife

I have been a "Coach's Wife" for about five years now. I know I've only been a wife for a year, but Jeff has coached baseball for five. I've learned that being the Coach's Wife is way more difficult than having a spouse that plays a sport. I know this from personal experience since as long as I've known Jeff he has played or coached baseball. 

Jeff was the starting catcher for our college team and it was fun to head to the games with my girlfriends and sip on iced coffees. Of course, I was also a member of the elite 'Baseball Wifeys Club'. There was also something so special about the way he looked at me or walked over to me after the game; I could tell that he really loved that I was at his games. You also can't go wrong lovin' a boy who wears baseball pants. Am I right or am I right? Sigh. 

In 2007, a month after we graduated from college, Jeff was drafted as a free agent for the Toronto Blue Jays. Even dating a professional athlete was not as all-consuming as being the Coach's Wife. Yes, Jeff lived in Florida during the season and for spring training but we talked every day and I visited so it wasn't too bad. Dating a professional athlete was also quite appealing and certainly has it's perks. And the baseball pants got even better. Tighter and whiter :) Then he played for a fun league in the summers when he came home and I loved going to the games and then hanging in the bleachers after with pizza and beer. Sometimes we'd even venture across the street to the pub and continue our post-game celebration. Summer baseball at it's finest.

When Jeff started coaching, it was a totally different vibe. He was very serious and of course, most of the fans at the game are parents and it just had a different feel. I still enjoy going to his games but it's not as fun when he isn't actually playing. Luckily the other coach and his wife are great and we've always enjoyed it, but volunteering to coach a team is so time-consuming. From meetings to practice to games to prepping and recording stats, he has a big job. It is all volunteer, too, which is what really makes it hard on a Coach's family. He doesn't bring home a paycheck to make up for all the dinners and family events that he misses. Not that money can even replace those things but it definitely helps. From the pre-season to the post-season, we miss a lot of our life. Last year on our honeymoon, when the season is usually over, we were even getting Facebook updates since his team made it to the playoffs and ended up winning the league title.

Last year, Jeff took his first paid position as an assistant coach for our Alma mater. We both love our college and we were excited for the opportunity and the extra income doesn't hurt. That ended up being way more than he bargained for so this year he took a position as the assistant coach for his high school team. He is so much happier in that position and we both really love the head coach, who was a college classmate, former teammate, and dear friend of ours. As much as we love the school and the team, it still takes away from so much. Especially considering he still coaches the volunteer team so the two seasons are literally back to back.

Last night, I helped out at the end of the year banquet and it was really amazing to watch how it all came together and see how appreciative and respectful the players are. I guess the team hasn't had a banquet in a few years and since both Jeff and the head coach were new to the team this year, they not only brought it back but they totally rocked it. They had a certificate and really nice things to say about every player, which was awesome. They also presented engraved bats to the seniors. It was very clear the minute that the bats were revealed, that the players and parents were so grateful for the gesture. They really did a great job with everything. I would have taken pictures but I was working the raffle table and it was go-go-go all night. Jeff was so taken back and proud when the seniors presented their gifts - new bats, a senior picture, and a team picture signed by each player. It was the first real gift that he's ever received as a coach.

You can imagine my surprise when the coaches were thanking people and took the time to personally thank their wives. They presented us with flowers and mentioned how grateful they are that we give up our husbands all season and put up with late dinners, early mornings, missed events, and sometimes a grumpy husband after a tough loss. I was completely moved by what a simple but thoughtful gesture that it was. I admit, I'm not always the best about his schedule and I sometimes complain that he misses out or that he's gone too long but it was nice to see that it is recognized and that they appreciate being able to have the time to do something that they love.

Being a Coach's Wife is a title that I wear proudly. Regardless of the hectic schedule, I am so grateful and proud to have a husband who is so passionate about what he loves and that he has the heart and talent to share that passion with these young men.


  1. how sweet they got you flowers and recognized the wives' sacrifice! I can imagine the schedule is hard, but it is really great that your husband has something he's so passionate about, and willing to share with others. Plus - yea the baseball pants don't hurt either!

  2. Girl, I completely understand. I worked in sports forever. People very rarely understand the sacrifices the spouses make. And I see you are from outside of Boston:) Are you north/south shore? My hubs grew up in the city but moved to a town called Sharon when he was in middle school.

  3. My brother pitched for a AA team after college and is now a pitching coach aside from his day job. My poor sister-in-law sometimes has to hang around the mound for some quality time lol.