Very few people understand the life of a coach “in season”… the “grind”.
In season for any coach is hard, but without a doubt, the grind for a football coach is a different animal. I was going to say that a coach’s family might understand, but probably should preface even that with immediate family. During one Christmas gathering with my wife’s family many years ago, her grandmother asked me (after I had 8 years of high school coaching and three years of college experience under my belt) when I thought that I could get a “real” job.
Most people do not understand …
I remember a conversation with colleagues at the YMCA during my stint with them in 2001. They asked how I could handle the hours of worked required to be an Executive Director of a YMCA. I told them that in my previous occupation (college football coach) we worked every day from about the second week in July until the end of February, had a couple of weeks slow time, then back at it again. Their comment was “well, we work all week, Monday-Friday, during that span too. When I told them “no, every day”, they asked, “Weekends too?”. I don’t think they ever believed me…. and I didn’t even try to explain that the days were not your typical 8 hour workdays, but more like 12-16 hour days… literally 80-100 hour work weeks.
Most will never understand…
Coaching any sport is difficult, time consuming and challenging. I do not mean to offend coaches from other sports (I have coached other sports as well) but the football-coaching grind is different. More players (which means more grade checks, more physical forms, more equipment, etc), more game preparation, more film study, more staff… more stuff! And there is not a huge difference in the amount of time in-season between college and high school coaching. Most high school coaches have to add their teaching load onto their football preparation.
Most administrators do not understand…
Most administrators are mainly concerned (and justifiably so) about how and what you are doing in the classroom. Most feel football is a fun diversion for you and the players. They know you practice for a couple of hours a day, and play once a week, but have no idea of the amount of time it takes to prepare your squad each week. As long as you win a few games, and don’t beat the kids, all is good. You ARE getting paid and extra stipend for that work after all.
Even I do not understand completely….
Every year, as my family took our vacation in July after our HS camps had wrapped up, I used to say (yes, every year) melodramatically to my wife “well, my life as we know it will cease to exist in a few weeks”. And without question it does alter what you are able to do beyond football.
Now I just say “Football Happens!”
It happens for me, and all of my colleagues. I go from seven blog posts a week to 1 or 2… Coaches whose blogs and tweets I follow experience the same crunch. Only so many hours in a day… projects on the back burner… entertainment delayed.
It is a grind… without a doubt. But a grind that most of us could not imagine being without.
For more about the grind that we love check out this post, Grit and “The Grind”
Thanks again to PrepsKC for running this column both online and in their weekly print magazine. If you get a chance to go and visit their site and “Like” this post, I would appreciate it!
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you.. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org