First of all, major apologies on the delay! Work has been crazy – good crazy – and wedding planning is in full swing! 3.5 MONTHS!!! And OF COURSE we’ve played some good football lately too. A couple comments before I dive into my topic of the week!
- I was hiding in the locker room during the Indiana game watching on TV with 2 lovely ladies from the Buckeye staff (Amy and Jen!). WOW was that close! And WOW was it freezing! But we marched out of there with a W and that’s all that matters.
- How cool was the Dark Knight game at the Shoe! Way to go everyone who participated!!!! I had lots of people in town. Firstly, my amazing sister Gigi and her boyfriend Brian and also my lovely Mother in law to be and sister in law to be – the fan base surely did not disappoint! A couple pics from the weekend…
Also, how about the new tunnel!!! It does nothing short of FIRE up every coach and player running through to battle! Nice work OSU and thanks to the Hazelwood family – dear friends of ours – for making this possible!!! Check the OSU Football Instagram for videos!
I’ve received so many awesome blog suggestions – remember, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org – but this one caught my eye right away, and I couldn’t wait to start writing about it.
“Maybe you could write a blog on how it will be for you to be a future coach’s wife. What your Mom has told you and what you learned from a child of a coach.” – Jeff
I wanted to put my own little twist on this and do a comparison of kids’ responsibilites vs. wives’ responsibilities. I know I’m not technically a wife just yet – but I’ve been watching and learning! I have been a coach’s daughter for 25 years and a football player’s girlfriend for 4 years – both two very entirely different perspectives- but I’m gladly accepting the challenge!!
My football days started early, maybe too early. Shells took me to my first football game at 2 days old. Yes, DAYS. A group of very outspoken old ladies were giving her a hard time about having a newborn in such an environment, but hey, what was she supposed to do, miss a game because she had a baby?! HA ya.. good one.
I’ve learned to embrace and love this specific role I’ve been casted. I believe I’ve handled it well at times, not so well at others – but who’s perfect right?
I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything – I completely LOVED the way I grew up, and a major part of who I am today is because of it. It’s taught me to embrace a fast paced lifestyle, communicate directly (sometimes a little too directly) and welcome any challenge with my hard work. I made it through four years of division 1 collegiate volleyball for those reasons, not to say there weren’t days I didn’t think I would survive. I’ve also had the opportunity to take part in some pretty amazing experience over the years. I was able to go visit the White House when we won the 2006 National Championship. It was one of the coolest experiences ever. I’ve had good tickets to some of the best football games ever played. I have been lucky enough to meet some really cool people (Adam Sandler, one of the most memorable)! And I’ve had a behind the scenes view of one of the most interesting professions that exist.
But there are challenges to growing up with a parent in this field. All coaches’ families can relate to this, and I applaud each one of them who can handle it with grace. It’s never easy reading derogatory remarks at or about your father or entire family. It’s hard to hold your tongue when people say your dad should be fired, especially when losing is not an issue (fingers crossed). It’s difficult to watch the tremendous amount of stress pile on his shoulder’s each week before a game, especially knowing that stress never really fades from week to week.
But it’s when you read an e-mail sent from a former player stating they wouldn’t be the man they are today without him, you know it’s worth the challenges. It’s when you witness the positive, sometimes life-changing, impact he is making on young men’s lives, you know it’s worth the challenges. And it’s when your dad, holding a national championship trophy in the air, looks at you with a proud grin the size of Texas that you know it’s ALL worth it.
Here are a few of the responsibilities I’ve been assigned over the years – shout out to my mom, Shelley, and sister, Gigi, for the brainstorming session!
As a coach’s kid:
Make him laugh – and this rule applies to all situations. After a win, after a loss, after a tough day, on a random day. Be fun and brighten the mood.
- Don’t talk about football. Don’t ask who the starting quarterback is. Don’t criticize a play. And don’t make suggestions. Although – I’ve broken this code before when I was little. I would sit and draw up plays for my dad (I loved fake punts) and beg him to use them at work. He always took them with a smile and convinced me I had thought of something brilliant.
- Have hobbies for him to take interest in and be proud of! This doesn’t necessarily mean sports only. My dad BEGGED me to play piano. I gave it a shot, my very best one, but just didn’t have the patience. Cheers to all those with musical talent – it’s something every one of us Meyers lack. We played sports, and lots of them. I stuck to dance, gymnastics, and volleyball, while my sister played all the tough stuff. Flag football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and wakeboarding! My brother played it all too – football and baseball are his favorites and my dad LOVES to watch him!
- Go to the games – even if you’re playing football behind the bleachers like little Gigi Meyer used to 😉
- Go to practice on Thursday nights and wear your cheerleading outfits (if you’re young enough) – I had to retire mine at Notre Dame in 1996. Although I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to suit up with some pom poms on the sidelines every week!!
- Move away and still be his biggest fan – When I was growing up, there was a like a 7-year span of time that I was moving every 2 years. As a kid, you listen to your parents decision, trust it’s in your best interest, pack your toys up and hurry on to the next place to make new friends. It’s definitely made me comfortable adapting to change.
- Be little sisters to the players – As a kid, they were like giant, fun, older brothers we never had. As I got older, some of my dad’s players took this role just as seriously. Timmy Tebow and the Pouncy twins once took my high school boyfriend “outside” to try and scare the living daylights out of him!
- Bite your tongue – people will always talk. Don’t get me wrong we do defend, but we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the ones that are saying horrible things. It gets hard at times, but we feel better for it in the end.
Here are what I believe to be the duties of a football wife – I have a long way to go!
- ENCOURAGE, PRAY AND EMPOWER! This is the most incredible story, and one that many people don’t know – this is why you read this blog right?! Okay, so my dad was a Graduate Assistant and took his first job, making hardly any money to survive. He had to work the night shift at a construction site and took out numerous loans – again, just to live, not even to have anything special. My mom used to cut his hair – they couldn’t pay for haircuts. My dad came to her one night and said he wasn’t sure coaching was for him. He wanted to possibly go to law school and start a different career path. My mom said no, God has a plan, we are here for a reason. Stay in it, keep pushing, this is His plan. Through all of the panic – finances, wins, loses, stress, sickness – my mom has always reminded us all to turn to prayer and trust. It is her single most important job and she has been flawless. Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything – peace will guard your heart. Phil 4:6-7. With so many moving pieces – this has been our base and kept us grounded.
- when it’s time to move– As wives, you are a major part of that decision – in our house, my mom was the biggest part in that decision. My dad has an incredibly soft heart – especially when it comes to his kids. So he was always so nervous about uprooting us and putting us in different schools. My mom was a voice of reason here, knowing we would be okay and grow because of it and encouraged him to keep taking strides towards his dreams.
- After a loss – bring things into perspective. My mom has always had a knack for this. Horrible things happen to good people every day – this does not include the loss of a football game. As it may seem to be EVERYTHING in that moment, my mom is there to remind everyone at the end of the day, it’s just a game. And you certainly can’t win them all!
- traveling to away games and being the support system – sometimes this means sitting in the hotel room before game time, often times in silence, simply letting your presence be of comfort. As a family, we’ve made a game – day ritual out of this when we are all present. Occasionally we sneak in a selfie!!
- wake up early / stay up late to be there when he gets home. Coaches work ridiculous hours each week- it’s insane. Even Sundays can go from 8:30 am until 11:30 pm. As kids, my dad often came home when I was asleep and left some days before I was awake. As a kid – that’s ok. But as a wife, who is going to make the coffee and a bagel? (My mom does this for my dad). Who is going to stay up at night and wait for them to come home to make sure they had a good day? That is a major role change!
- be superwoman and supermom – Nothing different than what all you great mommas do everyday!
- Be there for the players – As a wife, you take on a more caring, motherly role. These kids are away from home going through the life of a college athlete – which from experience, I know it’s incredibly difficult – and wives are there for them. Unfortunately, some players come from very broken homes or could have lost parents before or during their time on the team. Or sometimes, they are just simply far from home. My mom is their mommy away from home. Be comforting and loving (even after they may have just been yelled at by a coach)!
Fundraising – It is a major part of what we do as a family, and my mom drives most of these initiatives. She keeps us all down to earth and my dad especially when he gets so busy! I will dive into this next week more!
- Have skin as tough as the leather of a football – This might be the hardest job for me to learn. As I touched on early as a kid, you have to be tough and deal with some negativity. Luckily as kids, you get some slack. Whether it’s lashing out on social media or even crying (guilty of both here!) – the wives have to stay tough and handle these things in the public eye.
Share the dream, but have your own – My mom is more invested into my dad’s dreams than you could ever imagine! But she is very much her own person and lives her life the way she has always wanted. She runs a Psychiatric nursing clinical twice a week, teaches countless spin classes, and has a very good group of friends she spends time with. It’s important to live your dreams too!
I have a long way to go, but I’m working on it. Currently, I’m practicing staying up late to spend some time with Corey when he comes home at 11:30 pm. – little does he know I usually sleep from about 10:00 pm until he finally gets home… I might have to fake it until I make it on this one (until he reads this!).
Next week, inspired by October and Breast Cancer Awareness, I want to talk about the Urban and Shelley Meyer Fund and why Cancer Research is so important to us! Stay tuned 🙂
Remember, send me your ideas and questions – I would love to answer! 7-0 GO BUCKS!!