Jeff asked me to take over the blog today to talk about something a little different than what he usually covers. Today we’re going to focus on your most important team — not the most successful team at your school, or the one that brings in the most money to the athletic department, but the most important team in your life: your family.
As the wife of a male coach and AD, I’ll be directing most of this toward men with families. However, many of these tips could also apply to female coaches or ADs who are trying to balance their work and family lives.
Earlier I compared your family to a team. Just as my husband tries to give practical tips to help you lead your teams to success, today I’m going to share a few simple points from a wife’s perspective as you lead your family.
Do Your Homework
I Peter 3:7 says, in part, “husbands, dwell with (your wives) according to knowledge.” In other words, study her. Spend time getting to know her — her interests, concerns, and what makes her tick. Presumably, you did this while you were dating, but people change. Take a refresher course on your wife.
If you work with students in the classroom, you know that the most effective way to reach one student may not have any impact on another. The best teachers find what works for each student and create lessons that will reach as many of their students as possible. Likewise, the most effective husbands and fathers will take the time to learn about their wife and children, so that they can have the best relationships possible in the home.
Keep Family Time Sacred
I’ve seen firsthand how busy coaches and ADs can be. Jeff has been actively involved in at least one sport every season since we’ve been married, in addition to his full-time duties in the classroom and involvement in church.
He’s also dabbled in rec league sports and held various side jobs.
Even if coaching isn’t your primary career, life has a way of getting busy, and most of us are masters at overextending ourselves.
No matter how busy your schedule is, though, remember to set aside some untouchable time, on a regular basis, to spend with your family.
How much time? Refer back to I Peter 3:7 — as much time as your family needs, and you need to know them in order to determine that. There have been times in our marriage when I needed more time with Jeff, and other times when we were fine with more time apart. Now our son is getting to the age where he is less dependent on me and wants to spend more time with his daddy, requiring more of Jeff’s time at home.
There’s no magic formula to how much time you spend with your family; just take into account what’s going on in their lives and try to be there for them as often as possible.
One last note on this, and it may seem obvious.
During less busy times of year, spend more time at home.
You may be tempted to use the lighter schedule to get a head start in other areas or start a new project, but filling up all your available time can give your wife or children the impression that you’d rather do anything than spend time with them.
Be a Servant-Leader
I don’t remember where I first heard of the difference between a boss and a leader, but I do know it has been proven true in every job I’ve had and it applies in the home as well. The difference is that a boss barks out orders, while a leader is in the trenches helping his men accomplish those orders. Which do you think is more effective (not to mention easier to live with)?
I’ve always believed that the husband is to be the head of the home, but I can tell you it is much easier to submit to a husband who is a leader than a boss.
How can you be a servant- leader in the home? Here are some suggestions:
- Take an active role in caring for and playing with your children.
- Help clean the house (or at least don’t create more of a mess).
- Lead your family in prayer, Bible reading, and spiritual discussion.
- Initiate conversation, not to demand information, but just to hear what your wife or kids have to say.
Remember that, especially during your busiest seasons, your family has a schedule or routine at home. Try to learn their routine and lead from within it whenever possible.
Never Underestimate a Thank-You
Be sure to let your wife know you appreciate her. A little gratitude can go a long way.
Maybe your wife is up to her elbows helping you with the athletic department, or maybe her work schedule only allows her to catch one or two of your games. Either way, let her know you notice what she’s doing and that you thank her for it. Here’s a hint: you’ll get extra points for letting other people know you appreciate her, too.
These are just a few things to remember in your family life. Being involved in athletics is a wonderful thing. However, make sure not to neglect the most important team in your life, your family.