Review of Coaches’ Wives Documentary

As I watched the Coaches’ Wives documentary, I experienced numerous “Yes, me too!” and “She gets it!” moments. I am the wife of a high school basketball coach, and if I had the opportunity to strike up a conversation with any of the ladies featured in this film, we would definitely not run out of subjects to discuss! Topics such as balancing our family’s involvement and schedules, where to strategically sit in the bleachers as fans openly discuss coaching decisions, and being thankful for the passion with which our husband does his job would give us hours of dialogue and many points of solidarity. As one of the ladies says, “It’s such a blessing to be married to somebody who loves their job!”
I appreciated the fact that wives of both collegiate and high school coaches were included in this documentary. The women interviewed have great understanding of the blessings associated with being married to a coach, and they also express what the difficult parts can be. They help the viewer realize that although they may be in a somewhat unique situation, they are not alone!
If you are married to a coach of any sport at any level, I highly recommend watching this documentary. You will undoubtedly gain insight into the challenges of being a coach’s wife, and you’ll also gain new appreciation for how genuinely rewarding it is!

https://www.amazon.com/Coaches-Wives-Meo-Stansbury/dp/B01N9LUZ24/ref=sr_1_1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1483554259&sr=1-1&keywords=coaches+wives

If you are on a team, be a team player!

If you are on a team, be a team player!

Many high school kids will be starting a new season of practice this week. Whether it is football, volleyball, cross country or another fall sport, this is a good time to remember that being a team player is a decision.

Being a team player means you don’t seek individual glory. Yes, you work your butt off so that you are the best player you can possibly be, but it isn’t because you want your name talked about…it’s because you want to contribute to the consistent improvement of your team. And yes, sometimes your name might come up in a newspaper article for example, and if it does, kudos to you…but your pride should stem from the part you play in your team’s success, and not seeing your name in print.

Being a team player means you work just as hard if you are a star player, role player, or if you spend most of your time on the bench. It means you realize that you can set an example with your work ethic, and there is a possibility of the entire climate of practice changing for the better because of the first-rate effort of one player. And if it doesn’t change, you don’t let that stop you, because working hard no matter the result is a quality that will serve you well during the season and into your post-high-school future.

Being a team player means following training rules. Showing disrespect to rules that are put in place for well-thought-out reasons (even if you disagree with them) is showing disrespect to your team.

Being a team player means showing respect to authority figures. Whether it is the coaches of your sport, the teachers in school, the officials of your games…your attitude toward them rubs off on your teammates. It helps build your reputation as a respectful team. If you hear bad-mouthing of coaches and team members from others, respectfully avoid that conversation and choose to make positive remarks regarding the team and coaches who you are spending time with, making goals with and making memories with. Engaging in negative discourse has no positive benefits!

Being a team player means you talk to your teammates with respect. It also means you talk about them with respect. It means you think before you speak and decide if what you are about to say is beneficial to the dynamics of the team or if it might be detrimental. Yes, you are capable of getting along with even the hardest-to-get-along-with people! Often it will require a little extra prayer, patience, and perseverance, but it is worth pursuing! Being a teammate that helps obtain and preserve a cohesive quality on a team means more than you realize. And it is a trait that will matter for years to come.

Being a team player means remembering that it is not about you.

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Why Do I Go To The Game?

Why Do I Go To The Game?

Why do I go to my child’s games?

May I ask you: Have you asked yourself lately what your intention is when you sit in the stands at your child’s events?

A while back, I was seated behind a parent of an opposing team member at one of my son’s basketball games. What I saw caused me to reevaluate my genuine answer to the above question. She was a lively spectator. She clapped, she cheered, she shook her head at some bad plays, and every few minutes, she wrote something down on the roster she was holding. The clapping, cheering, and even the shaking of the head seemed pretty typical of any average fan in the stands. I have done all three, and I think I can safely assume you have too. However, my curiosity about activity number four – using her pen to mark that paper – got the best of me. The white piece of paper that was repeatedly picked up and slammed down in disgust was close enough to me to sneak a peek if I wanted to. I confess I wanted to. So I did. In large black letters there was a heading that said, “Bad passes.”

This woman was keeping track of bad passes like it was her job.

From my observations, I am guessing (and it IS a guess) she was recording the bad decisions of her son’s teammates.

I could be wrong, and maybe she was counting the “bad passes” of her own son and was going to talk it over with him after the game. If that’s the case, that is a topic for a different blog post with a possible title of, “Please do not count how many mistakes your child makes in their games in order to point them out later.” Too long of a title? Okay, it could be shortened to something like, “Lousy Parenting Practices”

So let’s suppose she was adding up the mistakes of her son’s teammates to prove some sort of point.

My next question is this: Do I ever do that? And if someone asked you if you do…I wouldn’t expect anyone to raise their hand and confess that they carry a piece of paper and writing utensil to every game for the sole purpose of counting the transgressions of their child’s team members. (If you do, kindly tell us where you are sitting at the next game, so that we can sit nowhere near you and your negativity.) But how many times have I done it mentally? “So-and-so has turned the ball over three times in a row, and my son has a pretty impressive assist-to-turnover ratio…” Or “Practically every time that girl serves, it goes straight into the net, do the coaches not see that?” Reminder: we are complaining about someone who is wearing the same team uniform as our child. They are on the SAME TEAM.

Hoping and cheering for the success of my child’s teammates makes the most sense…every positive play they make is contributing to the success of the entire team.

If we tell our role-player child they should start instead of one of their teammates, our child may actually be hearing, “I’m not good enough in my parents’ eyes unless I start.” Have we forgotten how crucial role players are to a team’s success? What about our child who spends their time on the bench? If we continually complain about their teammates who “shouldn’t be playing in front of them,” 1. We might cause them to lose their enthusiasm for working their way into the playing rotation, because, “What’s the use? My parents are only going to care if I’m a starter…” and 2. We lose an opportunity to teach an important life lesson to our children: EVERY team member is valuable. If instead of being a star player, our child is a role player or a player that spends most of their time on the bench, it doesn’t diminish their worth to the team, right? A team is successful because of a combination of factors including their attitude, their unity, and their preparation in practice. The second and third-string players make the first-string players better through their efforts at every single practice! The players who are on the bench cheering on their teammates on the playing field are imperative to the team’s energy and perseverance. If we instill in our children the truth that EVERY player contributes, it will serve them well for the rest of their life!

If I habitually see the shortcomings of my kid’s teammates, it will make it easier for my kid to see them too. If I point out weaknesses, the people around me are exposed to negativity whether they want to be or not. If I am not a unifying presence in the bleachers, I am a divisive presence. No team needs that!

Will you join me in making a parent pact? It is a pact to support every team member; to be a loyal fan of every single member of team.

Maybe our positivity will rub off on others. It all starts with asking ourselves a question and answering in a genuine way: Why do I go to my child’s games?

Dear Spectator

Dear Spectator,

My husband recently completed his twelfth season as a Class B boys basketball coach in North Dakota. He has had the pleasure of seeing some of his teams overachieve, and he has experienced the heartbreak of seeing teams not reach the goals that they worked hard for.

I am feeling a bit sentimental this year, because our third (and last) son just completed his high school basketball career. I have watched my husband coach all three of my sons. Maybe my sons will never have a coach that expects as much from them as their father did. However, I would challenge you to find a coach that cared as much, or felt their triumphs and heartbreaks as powerfully as he did. As you would find out if you asked any of my sons, they would not have it any other way.

For twelve seasons, I have become increasingly aware that as fans, we see a very small excerpt of what the whole season is comprised of. We sit in the bleachers deciding how the coaches should dole out playing time without knowing anything of the players’ off-season dedication, practice behavior, or locker room decorum. We aren’t there when the team goals are set. We aren’t there when the game plan for each particular team is determined.

Throughout the years, my husband has had numerous times when fans, parents, and players have kindly praised his coaching style and achievements. However, there have been a handful of times when I could swear that a spectator thought I was struck deaf and could not hear their negative comment OR they did not think I was struck deaf and seemingly did not care that I could hear their negative comment. I heard them. Unfortunately, I have had a difficult time forgetting them. I do not mention that in order to ask for even a small measure of sympathy. I mention it so that I can simply point out that there may be some things we do not realize as spectators.

For instance: the player that just got benched after they made an outside shot ignored the coach’s instructions in the previous timeout to work the ball inside. The player that is sitting on the bench even though they played well in the previous game missed practice, or did something divisive, or rolled his eyes after getting corrected at practice, or is ineligible because 3rd quarter grades just came out. The quick, scrappy guard that you think should be playing is outsized in this particular game and will most likely get an opportunity to succeed in an upcoming game that is more fast-paced and needs strong outside defenders. The player that just made three consecutive baskets gave up three consecutive shots on the defensive end. That is why he is sitting on the bench. Not because the coach “doesn’t like him.” I could go on with other types of scenarios, but suffice it to say, each team has different dynamics and each player has different skills to offer. We cannot possibly know all the factors that go into deciding the playing time, the type of defense the team is playing, or the offense that they will run in any given game. Keep in mind that most likely, if you and 9 people sharing the bleacher with you were asked how the playing time should be dispersed, or what type offense they should run, there would be 10 different opinions.

My husband holds all of his team members to a high standard, and he holds them accountable. He knows what they are capable of, and he does not just hope they come through. He expects it. Some people may call that ‘being demanding’. I call it being a coach that believes in his players. I also call it a gift that those players are blessed to experience.

My husband prays for and with his players and puts forth his best effort to coach the X’s and O’s, the ins and outs, and the highs and lows of basketball. However, as long as he continues to coach, the importance of that will never compare to the other lessons he teaches them; winning with dignity, losing with grace, being a man of integrity, being respectful and respectable, and being a teammate that genuinely cares about the whole team, just to name a few. There is so much more to being a basketball coach than what we see on the surface. Coaches are faced with countless decisions, and countless factors are considered in each decision that they make.

I am proud to be the wife of a successful class B basketball coach. He is successful if you look at his win-loss record, but that is not the success that I am most proud of. I am most proud of the life-lessons and the love that his teams have experienced through the years. That is what defines him as a successful coach.

Next time we sit in the stands or stand at the water cooler ready to vocally question the local high school coach, let us please remember that what we are about to present as factual information is actually an opinion based on only small part of the picture. May we please remember that high school coaches care about each and every athlete, and they are doing everything possible to set their teams up for success. Maybe that thought will prevent a careless opinion from being expressed. Maybe that thought will compel us to thank our local high school coach for the amount of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears they invest in each and every athlete in their program. I have more that I could say, but I’ll stop there. I have some coaches to thank.12970997_10209497310212393_709008197043880225_o