It's So Much More Than Just a Game

My husband and I met when we were in college. We were in the same education program and went through all the stages- classmate small talk, cracking jokes, purposely picking seats near one another, until one day he finally asked me out! We had this great first date planned out, and I was full of all the excited butterflies. But that afternoon I got a phone call from him. He very kindly asked if we could reschedule to the next night because his intramural flag football team had made it to the finals. Y’all, if that wasn’t foreshadowing of life as a coach’s wife, I don’t know what is! As you can gather from the fact that I’m writing to you here, we survived that first sports-related hurdle. And here we are today to laugh about that story forever.

But man, when you live and breathe sports, it’s a whole different world. And as a coaching family, we often feel like people on the outside really don’t get it. They see it as a side gig, a hobby, or even worse- “just a game”. But to us, it is so much more than that. If I could write a letter to all of the non-coaching people in our lives, here is what it would say...

Dear Friends,

We love this sport. It’s not just a game. Let me tell you why.

It pays our bills and supports our family. This is where our paycheck comes from, and good performance is necessary for keeping your job. It’s our livelihood.

It determines where we live. It’s home. One of my dearest friends always used to say, “Home is where your feet are.” And in our world, I would change that to “Home is wherever football takes us.”

It’s what creates some of our greatest friendships. My fellow coaches wives in the places that we have been are some of my dearest friends and most treasured relationships. They are friends that truly understand what you are going through and can walk alongside of you in that lifestyle.

It’s the life our children grow up in. The ball field, the concession stand food, practice drop-ins, being a little sibling to a giant group of teenagers, and running onto the field to their “Coach Daddy” after games. These are the sweet memories that a coach’s kid will hold on to forever.

It impacts eternity. The Lord has called our family here. This game is our mission field. It’s our opportunity to tell people about Jesus. We get the unique chance to form meaningful relationships with these athletes. They care what we think, what we say, and what we do. And we get to get to use this platform and our very own lives to create life-change through the Gospel.

We want you to know that we love you, and we know you mean well when you use this phrase. This is just one of those things that it’s hard to understand if you’re not in it personally. No hard feelings, we promise. But next time, before you ask why we get so worked up before games, why we take losses so hard, or why we are so stressed during the season, please try to remember these words you’ve read today. It’s important. This sport means more to us. It’s our life. And it’s so much more than just a game.


A Coach’s Wife

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20

- Shannon Purvis

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