By Laura Glover Pruitt, Sports Columnist
Coaching is like no other profession. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve lived it or been around it. I’ve been with my coach for twelve seasons now and every year is different because every kid is different. No two kids are the same.
I’ve seen and heard a lot in my twelve years as a coach’s wife. Some good, some bad, some ugly, some things I would never want to speak of again. I’ve watched my husband rejoice with his team after a big win. I’ve watched my husband run sixty-five yards with his running back for a touchdown along the sidelines. I’ve watched him chest bump with boys in full pads that almost knock him down after an interception or fumble recovery. I’ve watched him stand across the fifty yard line after a win and sing the alma mater with his team and he’s the happiest person there. I’ve watched him be physically picked up by a fellow coach after a big win and swung around like a little church girl watching her dress twirl.
But I’ve also seen the flip side that no one else sees. I’ve seen him witness to a team of forty kids the day after his grandmother died to make sure they knew there was life after death. I’ve seen him pull kids over to the side that he knew was having a rough time at home and pray with them after a game. I’ve seen him sit with kids at Thursday night meal devotion while they pray with the pastor to receive Christ. I’ve seen him sit in the parking lot on a school night because a kid is missing and he tells me “he may be coming home with me, I don’t know, I’ll let you know.”
There’s a lot the fans in the crowd don’t see. You see the celebrations and chest bumps. You see the praises and the butt chewings. You see the arguments with the refs and the personal penalties. You see the scoreboard with the wins and the losses.
But there’s so much you don’t see. You don’t see the stuff that matters. I wish everyone that has ever said “This coach is terrible!” could find the time in their day to follow him around and see what it’s like. See what all non-football goes on in the daily life of a coach. The behind the scenes is where the nitty-gritty happens. The stuff no one sees is what really matters and the reason these men and women who are coaches do what they do.
They don’t do it for the money. They don’t do it for the praises. They don’t do it for the records. And contrary to popular belief, they certainly don’t do it for the summers off.
They do it because they were called to do this job. And at the end of the season, no matter what the record is, they did what mattered. They did their job and so much more. Even though you may not see it, they did more than just coach them a sport. And if no one else ever does that for these kids, they’ll remember that coach who did for the rest of their lives. They’ll remember that coach that went beyond the field.