When you've poured your heart and soul into something for a whole year as the coach's wife, and then it all comes crashing to an abrupt halt all at once...it's definitely disappointing.
What people that aren't in this lifestyle don't understand is that this is so much more than a game and a sport to us. It's our lifestyle. We pour so much time, and love, and energy into our teams, and when things don't go as we hope, it hurts.
Up until this weekend, when our chances of making it into the playoffs were still very high, I was refusing to even think about making Thanksgiving plans, convinced we would be in the playoffs. I was saving all of my vacation days to be able to travel cross-country with the team to be there supporting them and cheering them on to victory during the playoffs. My whole fall was dedicated to this team and being a support to my husband.
There have been years past when we maybe didn't have the best season and I wasn't too mad about the season ending. This was not one of those years. This year the disappointment was so strong it actually hurt.
I thought this was our year.
I thought this was when the last four years of hard work would make it all worth it and we would have something BIG to show for it all.
I thought we would go all the way.
I wanted it for our team and our seniors so badly. And in the end, that's not what happened. And instead of planning for our next opponent from a different conference than ours, with the excitement of making it into the playoffs, we are left with an empty weekend next week, and the harsh reality that our season is over. I know some of you can relate.
Photo credit: The Lay Laux Company
Saturday night when my husband and I were finally both home and able to talk about it, I apologized for my tears and for feeling silly about caring so much. He normally hates seeing my tears, so I was a little surprised when he said, "It's okay to cry. You're part of the team, just like anybody else."
It was really affirming to hear that. No, we don't dress out in pads and helmets and go through drills at practice everyday, but with all the heart we pour into this sport and this team as coach's wives, we really are part of the team. And if the team is allowed to cry after a disappointing end, so are we.
It was also affirming of everything that we pour in as coach's wives. Even if it doesn't feel like it, it's seen, it's known, and it's appreciated. Even if you don't hear a thank you. Even if you think no one knows about all the sacrifices you put in to make your partner's dream a reality, you are seen.
My husband doesn't like to have to fake a smile for pictures after a loss, so this was taken after a previous win.
While I am still super sad about football now being over for us, I think it's important to still celebrate the season that we had. For us, it was amazing to be in the running for the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row! Especially considering how far the team has come in the last 4 years of us being here.
Maybe your year didn't go like that. Maybe your team struggled to get even one win this year. We've been there too. Those make for some excruciatingly long seasons! But even in seasons like that, there is still something to celebrate!
Maybe a breakthrough was made with a certain player.
Maybe your family was able to be there for someone during a really hard time of their lives.
Maybe you have a young team, which means there is a bright future ahead for what can be accomplished in the years ahead.
Maybe you and your husband and the other coaches helped lay a great foundation to build upon for the years to come by putting in all that blood, sweat, and tears.
If you're struggling with the disappointment of the season or the ending that you got (like I am), try to find those positives. Try to dig deep to find those things to celebrate to try to pull yourself out of that funk. It's okay to be disappointed because you are as much a part of the team as they are. But it's also important not to stay in that low place of discouragement.
Keep your chins up, coach wives! There is always next year!