Updated: Jul 15, 2018
Being a football coach, father, and husband is one of the worlds greatest balancing acts. I just recently turned 36 and after 20 years of coaching I will honestly say, I am still trying to figure it out.
I Wake up at 6am and roll my butt out of bed. To be honest its never six am its more like six fifteen or six twentyish and I have been pushing the snooze button on the alarm for the past thirty minutes and playing Iphone games. By this time in the morning my son has already gotten dressed for the day and has been watching Netflix for the last hour. My wife is getting ready for work and my daughter is still sleeping peacefully in her room. This is how my day pretty much starts every day of the week. My feet finally hit the ground and were off and running for the day. Over the course of the next thirty minutes we need to get our daughter out of bed, and ready for the day. Lunches need to be made, breakfasts eaten, teeth brushed, hair did, and what seems like fifty other little things that we repeat every morning. On this morning though we have some added pressure. Today is the first day of the football season and life as we know it changes for the next four months.
During the football season our family needs to be very organized. Luckily we have an amazing supportive football mom/wife who keeps all of us on track. She has had eighteen years of practice and without her none of us would make it through the season. My son started playing football last season. So as an added bonus to our morning. We need to make sure all of his equipment and water bottle is ready to go for this evening as well. It's now just after seven in the morning and the kids and me load into the truck and crank up the music as we make our way to school. We won't see home again until about quarter to five this evening.
The work day feels slow and drags on due to my excitement for that first practice of the year. I attempt to stay focused on my job but often find myself drifting into thought about tonight's practice plan, players, and what are we going to have for supper? During the football season supper is one of the hardest parts of your day. If you don't pre plan what your going to have for dinner that night. Than you better like Kraft Dinner, and Hot Dogs. The other tricky part about supper is that you only have limited time to prepare it and eat it before you have to be out the door and gone to practice.
My day at work finally finishes and I head for home. My job as soon as I get in the door is to figure out what we are having for supper. At this point in time I have about fifteen minutes before my wife and kids walk through the door. Fifteen minutes is not much time to prepare a meal for four people. Tonight I take the easy way out and go with the trusty KD and hot dog dinner. The back door flies open and in bounce my kids with my wife in tow. "Hey dad whats for supper" followed by "I don't want to eat that" and than kids rummaging through the pantry and refrigerator looking for something else to eat. We finally get everyone to the table and supper commences. During dinner we ask the kids how their day was and what they did. The usual answers comes out "I Don't Know"
and "I'm Not Hungry Anymore".
The day up until this point had gone so slow. I look up at the clock and realize that we have to leave for practice in just under thirty minutes. Time is flying by now and my son still has to read for fifteen minutes, complete any homework he has, and get dressed for practice. Somehow we always seem to make it out the door on time. I kiss and hug my daughter before leaving the house. She will be in bed and sleeping by the time I get home. The truck roars to life again as we head off to practice, music from the radio is replaced by my son reading a book to me.
The football field comes into view and my excitement for the new season to begin is flowing over. For the next two hours I get to spend time doing one of my favorite things in the world "Coaching Football" The added bonus is getting to share this passion with my son. The next two hours happen in the blink of an eye. It's now eight thirty at night and practice has ended. I stop to talk with coaches and players for a bit and than we head for home.
My son is in the back seat and we talk about practice on our ride home. I don't coach him during practice so we always have stuff to talk about on our way home. As we pull up to the house I take a quick glance at the time and see that it's just before nine o'clock. I can see my wife through our front window sitting on the couch watching TV awaiting our arrival. I hurry into the house and quickly get my son ready for bed. He always stops to talk to mom about his practice and has a snack before finally heading up to bed. After tucking my son into bed I head back downstairs to spend time with my wife before she heads for bed. She usually doesn't stay up to late so this time can vary from thirty minutes to an hour. On this night she heads for bed at ten o'clock.
A lot of times during the season I will have more football work to do after I get home from practice. Game Film, Coaches Meetings, and planning practice for the next day. My phone starts to ring and the caller ID shows It's our Head Coach. We start talking about things we liked and didn't like about practice today. Players is always a huge part of the conversations as well. Trying to evaluate players and put them in the best place to succeed, have fun, and help the team can be a long debated topic. I notice that I'm starting to yawn a lot, and finally pull the phone away from my head to see what time it is. The numbers twelve ten are brightly displayed on my phone. With three more practices to go this week, I finish up the conversation and head for bed. As I lay there slowly drifting off to sleep. My last thoughts are on the alarm that will begin to go off in the next 5 hours, and the day will begin all over again.
Like I said at the beginning. At thirty six years old I'm still trying to figure this out. What I do know is this. When your life starts to feel out of balance stop and take a minute. Lean on your family for support and love. They will always have your back and help give you guidance. On days when you don't have practices or games. Make sure you plan activities with your family and your significant other. Be present and engaged with your family in between work and coaching. So often I find myself playing on my cell phone, or working on football stuff. They are going to feel the stress and ups and downs of the season just like you are. Make time for your family and be present because they are making sacrifices for you to Coach. Next piece of Advice
I officially, wholeheartedly, unequivocally give you permission to take time just for you.
No kids, no spouse, no questions. Whether that is the gym, taking a walk, having a drink, reading a book, going fishing, whatever makes you happy and lets you completely turn off work and coaching. If you aren’t happy, mentally, emotionally, physically, then how can you give it your all when it comes to your family, work, and coaching? If you can’t care for yourself, how can you care for anyone else? My last tip is this.......
Take a great big deep breath and let it out. Don't forget when times get tough and your running out of time, and things seem Crazy and Hectic. Just remember there is always Kraft Dinner and Hot Dogs.