Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I am a coach’s wife. I signed up for it, back when we were young and stupid and didn’t have a penny to our name. I said yes to an awesome guy and yes to being a coach’s wife.

I love sports, that is the beauty. I can follow my husband’s job and cheer on his team. I’m invested.

Some of the disadvantages, however, are seeing the struggles of coaches these days from all levels, but on the high school level, it can be brutal.

We have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in the past 20 plus years.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many rewards, too. The student-athletes are the best reward. More often than not, there is a bond with them. Not their best friend, they have enough friends, but a mutual respect. There is also the friendship with other coaches and their wives and families. That is the most rewarding for me. Coaches and coaches’ wives we have met over the years are the best people we know.

Friends for life.

I see the dedication and hard work from my husband and other coaches as well. The time commitment is daunting and tedious. Up at 5:00 a.m., to work by 7:15 a.m. (oh yes, because he teaches all day too). Practice until 6:00 p.m then game film, game breakdowns, planning, and prep work. Then wake up and do it over again. Don’t forget game nights and traveling to a large city, two or three hours away. On weeknights, he is home at midnight or later then he turns around to go back the next day. 

Exhausting. Rewarding. Exhausting.

No one really comprehends the time. A coach’s wife does.

I rarely hear him complain because of his love of the student-athlete relationship and his love of the sport. 

RELATED: The Coach’s Family Sacrifices, Too

As parents, we all want the best for our kids. To be the absolute best. It is tough when they don’t get the playing time, or the position we think they should have. I have been there watching my kids. Sometimes even knowing they may not be the most talented on the field, but darn it, they are working hard and have a good attitude, shouldn’t that count for something? Sometimes not. Welcome to life.

Although we may think we know what is best for our athletes, we don’t. The coaches do. They are the ones, day in and day out in practice who know what is best for the team. Yes—I said team. Not your kid or two kids put together, but a team as a whole. Welcome to reality.

I think we have seen a breakdown in that trust of a coach in the last few years. That is my opinion.

Coaches weren’t hired to make one individual kid shine like a diamond and get all the accolades, their job is to build a team and a strong foundation for success.

To be clear, I don’t feel every parent that complains wants a coach fired. There are some supportive and awesome parents out there. I am just saying, from my perspective and living through certain coaching storms with my husband, the coaching culture has changed drastically. And, I don’t think it is getting better. 

Why is that? Why the extra stress. I blame youth sports. It is out of control. Youth sports should provide a solid foundation for learning and skills for the student athlete, but I also feel that it has caused our crazed-sports-minded culture to go off tilt of reality. Certain parent egos are out of control. Reliving the glory days vicariously through our kids can be detrimental.

I hear time and time again, “These kids are going to be so awesome when they are in high school, they will be state champions.” Or this one: “That kid is huge, he will be awesome in high school, Division I for sure.” Whoa people, let’s pump the breaks just a bit. I have been guilty of all of the above, but I have had to take a reality check and say, “Oh my goodness, really people? This kid is in sixth grade.” We are setting huge expectations for them already. Setting them up for failure.

RELATED: To the Coach Who Benched Me, Thanks For Teaching Me About Life

I think it is good to have goals and dreams for your child, but I feel we must align those goals with what our child wants. Clear communication between parent and child is key. I have found that parents may be upset with a coach and in reality, the athlete is perfectly happy with their role.

I also think the biggest mistake parents make when they think their kid is a superstar, is pumping their student athlete up early to be the star.

Let’s focus on being a good person, too. A person that a teacher would want to teach, and a Sunday School teacher would want in their classroom. And, let’s not forget grades.

Maybe that Division I scholarship is not in the cards for your child. Let’s be darn sure our kids are focusing on school, good study habits, and good grades. And did I mention, being a good person? As parents, we want our kids to be focused on being a good teammate and to be supportive, too.

The one thing I am most proud of with my husband as a coach is his integrity. He is a really good guy. A good husband, father, and educator. And a good coach. I know my husband has the respect of his students. I am proud of that, too.

Being a good person and a good family man goes a long way in this world. Well, it should. Sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, when we get lost in the wins and losses and stats and not the kind of person that is coaching your kid, then we are in trouble. That, sometimes, sadly—is life.

The worst thing for a parent is to question everything a coach is doing.

Years ago, my husband was coaching a young man whose parents insisted on watching game film after every game. The dad would pick-a-part calls, the officials, the teammates, and his own child. It just messed with this kid’s head. Really. By the time the kid hit the floor, he didn’t know who to listen to or what to focus on. Mentally, he was a wreck. Dad chirping in his ear that he was the rock-star of the team and should be making all the plays and the coaches setting up a solid foundation for a team.

RELATED: To the Coaches Who Do So Much More Than Coach, Thank You

Parents (and you know who you are): let the coaches coach. Be positive, be encouraging. This is your kid’s experience, not yours.

It is darn hard to watch your kid not get the accolades or playing time, but let’s be sure to set them up for a solid foundation in life and not fight their battles. Let’s focus on teaching them to be a good teammate of life.

A coach's wife gives her insight into the world of school sports, the pressure we put on our teenagers and the exhausting excitement of it all.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Renae Zimmer

My name is Renae Riddle Zimmer. I was born in Iowa and raised in Nebraska. I am a Midwest girl. I married my high school sweetheart, Dave Zimmer and raised two awesome kids. Nolan, 21 and Kamryn, 17. As we approach our empty nest years—we reflect a lot on our life—our kids—and being a part of the “sandwich” generation as well. Taking care of teenagers and aging parents. All the joys and difficulties that are ahead. We are solid in our faith—solid in our family and we love each other, support each other. I work a corporate job and travel. My husband is an educator and coach. We love to cook, garden, landscape, watch sports and enjoy our kids activities. We follow up college-age son as he runs cross country and track for Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. And support our daughter as she is in the last year of high school . Where did the time go?

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children, www.herviewfromhome.com

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith

In: Faith, Inspiration, Relationships
Trading Fleeting Moments of Fame for Unshakeable Faith www.herviewfromhome.com

The string quartet began playing Pachelbel, as my dad and I took our first steps down the aisle. I began to lose my composure as we proceeded to the altar. Hundreds of guests had their eyes on me as tears streamed down my face. Struggling to look my future in the eyes, I looked to the ground for reprieve. God, everything around me looks perfect, so why doesn’t this feel right? I’m not sure how I got here. The flame once dancing inside of me, has extinguished. Lord, I need you. Dad squeezed my hand gently, “Are you OK sweetie?”...

Keep Reading

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere

In: Inspiration, Kids, School, Teen
This North Dakota Homecoming Queen is Capturing Hearts Everywhere www.herviewfromhome.com

When Paula and Kevin Burckard’s third child was born, she arrived with a little something extra the North Dakota couple never saw coming.  Newborn Grace had Down syndrome, and the diagnosis initially left the young parents devastated. “When Grace was born, I thought all my dreams for my daughter had basically been dashed,” Paula said.  But it didn’t take long for those fears to subside.  As Grace grew, not only did she meet and surpass milestones, her infectious joy, inspirational grit, and deep love of all things Michael Jackson transformed the family—and countless hearts. The Burckhards went on to adopt...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, When I Forget What It’s Like To Be Little

In: Child, Inspiration, Kids, Motherhood
Hey Mom, Don't Forget—You Were a Kid Once, Too www.herviewfromhome.com

The kids were squealing in the backseat. For the five minutes prior they were begging me to spill the beans on where we were going as I had only told them to get their shoes, get in the car and buckle up. It’s one of the ways I’ve learned to make a simple trip out of the house one that is a mysterious adventure to them. As we took left and right turns away from our house, they were trying to guess where we were going . . . and when we finally pulled up to a brand new playground...

Keep Reading

My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me

In: Inspiration, Journal, Motherhood
My Children Deserve To See the Whole Me, Not Just the Mom Me www.herviewfromhome.com

Before I was a mother, I was a human being. A human being with life experiences, passions, fears, talents, hobbies, goals, friends and aspirations that I cherished and tried to honor. Even though I went through a variety of seasons of life . . . from school-age days, to working adult, to wife . . . those things always stayed with me. I stayed open to evolving, but never let go of who I inherently was. Then came motherhood. And suddenly I found myself abandoning my commitment to remain true to me, and leaving any semblance of myself in the...

Keep Reading

My Mother-in-Law’s Legacy: Simplicity

In: Inspiration, Journal
My Mother-in-Law's Legacy: Simplicity www.herviewfromhome.com

The memories of my mother-in-law spilled to the forefront of my mind, just as the contents of his jacket pocket fell onto our dresser. It was Proverbs 31, written on hotel stationery, in my neatest block print. Holding the small papers in my hand brought me right back to her graveside, on a hot summer morning, seven years ago. “Her children arise and call her blessed.” (verse 28) As my second daughter gave a mighty kick from the womb, visible to every mourner present that day, I couldn’t help but to allow my mind to wander. Were my values apparent...

Keep Reading

A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce

In: Inspiration, Journal
A Car Accident Left My Teenager Paralyzed—and Incredibly Fierce www.herviewfromhome.com

I drove back from my son’s college concert near midnight. Exhausted, I glanced at my 14-year-old daughter, Beth, asleep in the passenger seat. We were only 10 minutes from home. I thought I could make it until I heard a road sign flatten on concrete. As the car flipped three times across a bare Ohio field, we left behind an ordinary life. I escaped with cuts, bruises, and blood-matted hair. Beth was another story. The car was cut open and a helicopter rushed her to Toledo. A doctor told my husband John that she was paralyzed. When John broke the news...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama, You’re Allowed To Not Be There

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Dear Mama, You're Allowed To Not Be There www.herviewfromhome.com

Friday afternoon was not much crazier than most afternoons. My husband was mowing the lawn, my daughter was hangry and my youngest son was due to be in a talent show in twenty minutes. I stood in the kitchen—where it seemed like I’d been for an hour—trying to motivate my family to eat dinner and get ready to go. “Get dressed, Jude. Make sure you eat something.” “Dean, do you want a slice of pizza before we leave?” I screamed over the lawn mower. “Maeve, are you going to the optional soccer practice or the talent show? You need to...

Keep Reading