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Balancing Coaching and Home Life

Coaches are tasked with multiple responsibilities, including planning and running practice, working with administration, meeting with parents, and leading their team at competitions. These tasks all take time, and the hours can be even longer for coaches who have to travel long distances to and from events with their teams. And while many coaches consider their athletes family, this job also means taking time away from families at home. 

How can coaches balance their home life with their work schedule? Coaches can find some tips in an article for the UConn Huskies outlining how UConn Football Coach Randy Edsall and his wife, Eileen, manage this situation. First, Edsall makes it a point to be with his children and wife as much as possible when he is able. If he isn’t coaching, he is spending time with them. And when they can’t be together, they use technology to keep each other in the loop.

“The mobile phone’s the best thing that’s happened to our family,” said Edsall. “My 10-year-old knows my mobile phone number and calls me as soon as something exciting happens in her life. For people like me who spend a lot of time on the road, it also simplifies life. It means your family doesn’t have to keep track of multitudes of hotel numbers.”

To make sure he is able to spend time with his family, Edsall does his best to finish all that he can at the office. Other times, he might bring home game tapes to work on, which gives him the chance to see his children before they head to bed. But both Edsall and his wife stress the importance of understanding that children might not always understand why you can’t be there all the time, which can lead to some negative behaviors.

“Randy would be home all summer and Corey got used to spending time with him,” said Eileen. “When Randy would go back to work at the end of the summer, Corey would misbehave. Now that he’s older, he’s better able to handle it, but back then he didn’t understand. Parents have to know that those are the times when children need some extra support and to be prepared for it. It passes as they age.”

When he is home, Edsall makes sure to leave the stresses of work where they belong—at work. Being a coach means facing great successes and heartbreaking losses. But Edsall does not allow struggles on the field to affect how he acts towards his family. And he also works hard to make sure that his work as a coach doesn’t completely consume his life. 

“A lot of people miss the boat on this one,” said Edsall. “They work 365 days a year and lose their families in the process. Coaches are as guilty of this as any other high-stress profession. When there’s time available, I’ll drop everything and do something with the family. This season, for example, we had a week off during October. I made sure not to take those as work days. I put all my focus and attention on my family.”

No matter how much time they spend apart, Edsall and Eileen work to be flexible and always make important decisions as a team. And while being both a coach and part of a family can be tough, it can also be a learning experience. For Edsall, this means bringing home to his children the lessons that he learns as a coach and that he teaches his athletes. And his role as a coach as serves as a model of perseverance and love.

“Randy really loves what he does and I think that sends a strong message to our kids that you should do what you love and find some way to make a living at it,” said Eileen. “His work ethic also teaches them the lesson that hard work and patience can make good things happen. Those are two important lessons for them to learn.”

Click here to read the full article.

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