The Life Lessons My Kids are Learning from their Football Coach Dad

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When I married a Texas high school football coach, I knew I was signing up for a different life than most of my friends, whose husbands wore suits and ties instead of gym shorts to work. My husband spends his days in the classroom and his afternoons and evenings in locker rooms, buses, and turf fields. He inspires young men to get stronger and faster, but also to come together as a team and to care about and lift each other up. What I didn’t realize was how much of an impact my husband’s career would make on our children and family life. Although football season is difficult at times- he works 7 days a week and there are weeks when we don’t see him for days at a time- my children are growing up with a dad and role model teaching them values that transcend the football field into their lives and futures. 


The hardest part of football season for my children is the time they spend away from their dad. He gets to school before they wake up in the morning and on game days, hours after they go to bed. Because he has responsibilities as his role as a teacher and coach, the hours required to do both jobs well are well beyond a 40 hour work week. But when my kids are sad when I tuck them into bed after another day without seeing their dad, we talk about the commitment their dad has made to both our family and his team. He works hard for us, and he works hard because his players depend on him to be the best coach, just like we depend on him to be the best daddy. 

On game nights, my children are able to witness the payoffs of that commitment. When they watch their daddy call a play and the players execute it perfectly to score a touchdown, they cheer and their faces beam with pride. We talk about the hours and hours of practice that it took to make that play happen, and how they will have to practice like that too at whatever sport or activity they choose to pursue.

Winning and Losing Gracefully

In the almost two decades that my husband has been on the football field as a coach, he’s been on both sides of the scoreboard. Both winning and losing are part of the game, and the way he models how to do both gracefully to our kids has been one of the best life lessons for them. Our children see their dad come home ecstatic and pumped up after a big win and they also see how he recovers after a crushing loss. Sure there’s some moping and frustration, but he always points out the positives of his team’s performance and explains to the kids that it’s one game, and one game should not define a season or even the emotional tone of the rest of a weekend. 

We are just beginning our foray into youth sports, and I have been so encouraged to watch my children’s reactions to the final outcome of their games. I credit my husband and his example for the way they handle the highs and lows of athletic competition.

Football and Team Spirit

Anyone who has lived in Texas for any length of time knows that in the fall, high school football is king. As a high school football coach’s wife, I am immersed in this culture, and have come to embrace the positives of the frenzy around the sport. First, the team spirit can’t be beat. There’s just something so magical about thousands of fans, dressed in team colors, shouting and high giving for players giving it their all on the field. I love that my children are learning at a young age what it means to be part of a community. I love that they are falling in love with a sport that emphasizes commitment and for highlighting the impact the game has not only on players, but the entire community. 

It’s also really important to me that my husband is involved in the sport that is embracing the latest technology in keeping players safe on the field. One day, my 4 year old son may play football, and it gives me such peace of mind that the equipment he will have available, such as helmets that are making the game better by reducing rotational force by 25-50% compared to the top helmets and “smart” mouth guards that can track the force of impact on a player. 

I’m so proud of my husband and our children are proud of their daddy for all his hard work and commitment as a high school football coach. Football is the center of our family this time of year, and I’m grateful for all the positive aspects the sport has brought to our lives.

The National Football Foundation (NFF) launched Football Matters to celebrate the positive impact the game has made on millions of players, coaches, administrators, volunteers, and fans nationwide. It spotlights and explains the many benefits that football brings to communities, schools, families, and individuals and the opportunities it provides those on and off the field and at every level. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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