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The Mrs. Coach’s Playbook

A playbook is a tool used by coaches to make a game plan. It is a manual that hopefully leads to success. A manuscript crammed with strategies to help a team achieve their common goal.

This is my playbook for moms.

This is not the usual organizational cheat sheet describing how to make our very busy schedules feasible, albeit being a mom of eleven I must say I have mastered quite a few aspects of domestic engineering

Nor is this a guide advising how to be the best “team mom”, even though I have clocked countless hours running the concession stand, holding fundraisers, arranging carpools and planning banquets.

As bizarre as it may seem, I would like to offer guidance in the area where I have failed miserably. It is my disastrous mistakes I would like to share in the hopes of assisting all moms who are married to the coach.

“Learn from your mistakes” – Joseph Cannon, Santa Clara University soccer goalkeeper.

This is my game plan for Mrs. Coaches. This is a manual to help moms support and safeguard their coach and player during the exciting, rewarding and sometimes stressful experience participating in youth sports.

Being quite the connoisseur of Mrs. Coach’s mistakes I now understand what is required in this role that is inherited by marriage. Coaching is a great opportunity for our husbands to make a difference. I consider it one of the most admirable commitments to undertake. It is an obligation that can be very time consuming and mentally draining. I was so proud of my husband when he first volunteered to coach our oldest son’s t-ball team 13 years ago.

My husband was very knowledgeable of baseball and our son was a natural at the game. I however was not as prepared. I was so busy dreaming of all the wonderful memories my coach and player would be creating and their strong bond that would build to even think I had any responsibilities in this mission. I had no idea of the hazards that lay ahead which could contaminate my coach. What a rookie!

In just a few seasons my players’ skill quickly excelled. My coach’s intensity however, simultaneously became rapidly exaggerated. My coach started taking the games much too seriously. He began yelling at his players for not measuring up to his inflated expectations, especially my player. He often joked around with the players after an outburst as if to soften the blow but I felt the damage had already been done. I was immediately worried but hesitated to voice my concerns. I wasn’t sure if I would be interfering. I wondered if this was just a tactic in coaching, perhaps only a temporary approach. I was uncertain if this might simply be a guy thing that I didn’t understand and would have to get used to. To try justifying my reservations I would convince myself that by restraining my instincts I was actually preserving my players integrity. I didn’t want to subject him to the dreaded label of “mama’s boy”.

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden UCLA, basketball coach.

What was I thinking!! This rationalization was completely out of character. I am not an interfering mom! I consider myself a very dedicated mother. I’m usually the referee on the playground, the peacemaker on the field trips and the cheerleader on the bleachers. I have always had an unbearable struggle just standing by and see a child discouraged or embarrassed, never mind seeing one cry.

I would never allow another man coaching to speak harsh words, cast disappointing glares or cause the fall of even one tear on my players face. Why was I permitting my husband to provoke these reactions?

This was not just a guy’s thing. My son was not a mama’s boy! I could not just quietly sit on the bleachers and watch my player’s confidence gradually diminish from game to game.

“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” – Lou
Holtz University of North Carolina, football coach.

This playbook can be applied to any sport your husband coaches my reference however is baseball. I’ve chosen baseball because I absolutely love the game but regrettably it was the sport that led to the demise of my vocation as Mrs. Coach.

“Courage is not the absence of fear but simply moving with dignity despite that fear.” – Pat Riley, L.A. Lakers basketball coach.

Before I offer my assembled approach to successfully supporting your coach I need to briefly share the extreme events that lead to the relinquishing of my failed undertaking.

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