Husband and wife coaching teams are more common than I realized. I saw my first close-up of a husband and wife coaching team this past year when my daughter assisted as a coach on their high school varsity softball team. What made their situation even more prickly was that they were coaching their daughter, who also happened to be a good pitcher and the star of the team.
When I investigated the husband/wife coaching arrangement, I learned that many couples have coached together quite successfully and have managed to win in the process.
For instance, Shannon and Mark Desrosiers coach at Clarkson University in New York. They are believed to be the first husband-wife co-head coaches in NCAA hockey history and definitely the first to win a national title. One of the secrets of their success as a team? They are all about business when they’re at the rink.
Husband and Wife Coaching Teams: Hints for Success
If you are thinking about coaching with your spouse or significant other, these suggestions might make the team run more smoothly:
Determine your roles. Decide what your roles and responsibilities are and then let each other work with our interference. Who does the planning and who takes over the practices? Who’s the front man–the person that parents deal with on a regular basis?Who does the administrative work?
Leave the intimacy and issues at home. Public displays of affection, heated arguments or personal conversations can embarrass or alienate your team. That’s why it is important that you conduct yourselves in a professional manner anytime you’re on team time.
Keep competition out of the bedroom. The same applies when you and your spouse or partner leave the field or court and return home. Although you may find that you are so busy all day long that you haven’t had much time to talk about the team and sports strategy with your partner, it is important to set limits.
To make a smooth transition from business to domestic partners, limit the time you take each day to catch up to half an hour or so after you leave the field or court. Set that boundary and don’t talk competition after you reach it.
Enjoy the perks of coaching together. Since you both run the team, take advantage of being the boss and create a flexible schedule that allows you to each accomplish what you need to do at home and work.
Lose Your Ego. In order to get the best result possible (i.e. a winning season, kids learning and enjoying the game) you must be willing to accept advice and suggestions from your spouse about competition in the same spirit that you would from a co-worker in an office. There is no room for egos! Accept the fact that your spouse or partner is more talented than you in some areas and let him or her excel in their strengths.
Respect Each Other’s Workspace. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a coach stand over you and micromanage your decisions. Respect your spouse or partner enough to let him or her do the job without your help.
Of course, even if you work together as well as the Desrosiers did, there is no promise you’ll win the championship. But it will certainly give your team and your marriage a better chance for success!
Get one of my other Sportsparenting Survival Guides: Volleyball Mom’s Survival Guide, Football Mom’s Survival Guide, Softball Mom’s Survival Guide, Basketball Mom’s Survival Guide, Coach’s Wife Survival Guide.
Get my free new report: Sportsparents’ Guide: 55 time & money-saving tips guaranteed to make your life easier. You’ll also get regular sports parenting tips each week and a weekly parenting tip. Sign up here.