Monday, January 25, 2010

Traditions you can Start with your Coaching Staff

Josh coached at 2 different High Schools before he got his first Head Coaching job. Although we were at 2 seperate schools, we were with the same head coach for 8 years!

Coach Ross was wonderful and encouraging when it came to my involvement with the coaching world, and Leslie was equally as wonderful. Sometimes people worry about stepping on the Head Coaches Wife's toes, but Leslie was never that way and I was so appreciative of that.
As a HCW myself, I am not that way either! There is SO much that I WANT to do, but don't have time to do, plus I think its awesome that our wive's want to take it upon themselves to start traditions amongst the coaches families.

When Josh got the HC position at Rouse High School, a BRAND NEW school in Leander, Texas, we both wanted to start traditions right off the bat, so we started early. And one thing that is ver unique about our school is that because it was brand new, all the coaches and their families are pretty close, so when we have get togethers and such, the ENTIRE Coaching staff comes. (tennis, volleyball, soccer, ect)

Here are several things that either 1, or one of the wives on the Raider staff have done to make things fun for everyone.
1) Coaches Wives Luncheon
We discuss things to do for the upcoming year. We do this the week before 2 a days start. and by the way- our ENTIRE Coaches Wive's come to this- tennis, basketball, it doesn't matter what her husband coaches, on our staff, we invite everyone.
2) Spa Day and Lunch
This is strictly for enjoyment purposes. We also do this before 2 a days begin. We planned a day where we got manicures and pedicures and then went to lunch. We just had a relaxing day with no kids and no football/ tennis/ basketball talk! It was great.
3)Start a Fantasy Football or Baseball League
You can play with all wives, or you can play with wives and coaches, which is fun also. Our league is $25 to play, so that when you play- you are trying to win. It is a lot of fun and its even more fun to talk smack on the League smackboards!
4) Holiday Parties
It sort of just became a tradition on its own, but several of our coaches on our staff have adopted a Holiday and hosted a party.
-Our Volleyball Coach hosts the opening NFL Sunday Gameday. Likely it will just be the football wive's next year, but for the past 2 years all of the coaches have gone because they didn't have to work Sunday's. 2010 will be different as we start our first Varisty Season.
-We host a Themed Halloween Costume Party and we invite all the Coaches in our District. We have had several coaches that are somewhat strangers show up in costume ready to party with us! Its fun and its a great stress reliever for some coaches that are in the middle of football season. We typically ask that no kids come, but there have been a few that have snuck in!!
-Our OC hosts the Christmas Party each year and it is SO much fun! We play the chinese gift exchange and it is always fun to see who ends up with what!
-We have lots of Birthday Parties, Baby Showers and Bridal Showers!
5) Lady Raider Football Camp
The coaches wives host a mom's football camp before the season starts. We do this for charity- last year, it was for Breast Cancer. The mom's pay a fee, the fee goes towards any supplies we need and the rest goes directly to the charity.
See the Lady Raider Football Camp post for details on how to do your own!
6) Coaches Wives Bible Study
Our Coaches Wives have a Bible Study Group. Its easiest to plan this when there isn't a LOT going on. Its hard to find a good time to start it because people are going out of town, its getting closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas and we get busy, but I think sometimes we forget to take time out for God, and honestly we need to thank him more than ever after our seasons are finished up:)
Carolyn Allen has a great book called The Coaches Wife, and she also has a Coaches Wife Bible Study Guide to go along with it.
Other Traditions to start:

1- Buy a sports ornament each Christmas and put the year on it along with your team's record for that year.
2- Don't know what to do with those old Tshirts from school's that you have left?
a- cut the design out of the shirt and put into a scrapbook
b- leave for the next coach or coaches wife
c-make a blanket out of them.
3-Start a scrapbook
Save all of your rosters, programs, ticket stubs, cut out newspaper clippings, emails or cards from parents or athletes. Anything that you don't want to throw away can be scrapbooked and its easy and fun and a great gift to give your coach!
There a gazillion things that you can do for yourself or with your staff, these are just a few! Please leave some comments or email with things that you and your staff do so that I can add them to my list!

Family Pictures Every Year at the Stadium!

We started this 4 years ago, having OUR family photo's taken at the stadium each year. We have had a lot of fun and had some really great pictures.
I am lucky enough to have an awesome neighbor that enjoys taking pictures and she is really good at it as well.

If you don't have access to a professional photographer, then swap with another family and take pictures of their family after they take yours!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Game Day Rituals

Maybe I am a little obsessed with football, but I have Game Day Rituals that I follow. It helps me to get into the game. I am tense almost all day- but in a good way and I don't feel like I am in a bad mood, just very focused as if somehow, someway I am sending good vibes to Josh:) haha

Here are just some of the things that I do on Game Day mornings:

1- I send all the Coaches an email telling them Good Luck-
This is more for me than for them. It started at Cedar Park. The first game of the 2006 season, I sent the entire coaching staff a good luck email and we won that night. Sounds silly, but I am very superstitous, so the next week I send another one and we won. We ended up going 11-1 that year, so needless to say, I sent them an email for 12 weeks straight. I don't really believe it helped us to win, but it was just one of those thing that you start doing and then can't stop.
2- I update my Raider Blog-
This is something I started last season, but before the blog, I would send out an email to my family and any parents about the upcoming opponent. Yes, dumb, but I would research the other team and send out the info. So now, I just do it on the blog!
3- My attire
I try my hardest to wear a different shirt to every game. I don't know why- its another one of those superstitions. BUT, I always wear the same jewlery and this maybe be too much information to share, but I also wear the same underwear (washed of course) and I also have 3 pairs of the same ones, AND I ONLY wear them on OUR gamedays. They are our colors and they have a football helmet on them. (Victoria Secret-varisty line) Absolutely silly, but its what I do! check out my new game day undies!
4-Football Food
I make the boys football shaped muffins in the mornings and at lunch, I use a cookie cutter and make their sandwiches into football shapes. (field goal, football, uniforms, ect)

5-On the way to the Game

On the way to the game, I have a great self-made CD with lots of great football songs on it that I listen to. I try to keep with the times, but sometimes that is hard- especially now that I am getting older! ha

6-Kids Attire
My boys are football boys- there is no doubt in my mind that my oldest will grow up to be a coach. I am not sure about the youngest one yet, but I am sure he will do something with the football world.
They like to dress like the players to the games. From the helmet, to the cleats, they are exact replicas of our own athletes.
They go a step further and have to have black under their eyes as well as tattoos on their cheeks.
I have been doing this with them since they were born and it hasn't stopped. Even at 9 months my boys had jersey's to wear to the games!

What to Put in a Game Day Bag!

If you have kids, or if you are just a super spirited wife, you should have a good game day bag ready and full of goodies. Backpacks are easiest so that your hands are free to carry your kids, stadium seat and to carry your concession stand hot dogs and popcorn!

Here are some items that are in my Game Day Backpack ready for all games:
--Large Zip lock bag of snacks for my kids. Their trash goes back into the zip lock bag and ready to be thrown away!
--Wetwipes- to clean up my boys sticky hands and in case we spill a coke.
-- 2 decorated bells
--Large decorated shaker bottle
--My large megaphone. Sometimes I do not take this, it depends on the game.
--Other noise makers that I can find
--Tattoos of our team's logos, Black Eyeliner to draw black eyes on my boys
--Personal Essentials: I have an extra makeup bag with lipstick, eyeliner, small mirror, gum, and ibuprofen- just in case:)
--Include anything that you made need for the weather: umbrella, scarfs, poncho, gloves, heat warmers
--Directions to the games, and I also include a laminated roster, sometimes that has to be updated:)
Then I just have to add in my wallet. tickets to the game and cell phone. I clean out my bag after each game and refill it the night before a game so that I am not scrambling to get ready to leave for the game. My bag is quite stuffed, but I am always ready for the game!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Breakfast for the Coaches!

While at Cedar Park, one day I decided that I wanted to make breakfast for all the football coaches. I never felt so appreciated than when I walked into that Coaches Office with warm food, so what started as a one time thing, quickly became a weekly tradition that hasn't stopped!
Its easy to do, a little time consuming, but its well worth it when I get to eat breakfast with Josh on Saturday mornings.

I have about 13 breakfast cassarole dishes that I rotate. I have a routine for how I make them and what I make with each cassarole. I make all them the day before, so that on Saturday mornings I can just pop it into the oven.

When we left Cedar Park, I spoke to one of the Booster Club members about continuing to make the coaches breakfast and to my knowledge, they still make them breakfast every Saturday morning. I couldn't leave my second favorite coaching staff unfed!!
If you don't want to be the only one to take on this job, but would like to have breakfast for your guys, maybe you could talk to your wives about rotating weeks. Maybe you could each take 1 Saturday.
I will be happy to email you my recipes for you to use! And if you have a good recipe that makes breakfast for a bunch, then please share yours!

Lady Raider Football Camp

See the Blog:

Lady Raider Football Camp is basically a Football for Dummies for women! While the wives actually host the camp, the coaches actually do the teaching.
Last year, our football camp was very successful!! The only thing that I would change is I might have the Wives actually do the teaching in the classroom. Specifically because our poor coaches didn't really understand that the majority of women don't know much about football- especially formations. Its not really the coaches fault, they just don't get that we needed to start from WHAT is the Line of Scrimmage versus teaching us the Liz and Man plays:)

Josh and I carefully planned out the itenerary. We wanted to give the mom's the feel of what the kids do everyday, so we started registration out by sending them with their "playbook" to the Study Hall for 15 minutes.
Next we headed to the boys locker room and made them do the bootcamp that the players do each morning.
From there, we headed straight outside and split into groups to do the practice drills. Never in my life had I had as much fun throwing the ball. The coaches were very professional and were great with the mom's, and what was great was ALL mom's participated.
We headed into the Training Room, where our trainer showed us the stem machines, the bands, the stretches that injured players do and the Hot and Ice Baths.
Lunch Break! The wives had lunch with the mom players and then we had 2 guest speakers, who were in remission from Breast Cancer.
Next we headed into the study hall and our team physician came in and spoke to us about what he does for the team.
Next was Fooball 101 with the coaches. This is where they went over plays and answered any and all football questions that we had.
We ended with door prizes and goody bags for each of the mom's!
We planned this with a month's notice. We had businesses all over that were willing to donate things to our camp. It was easy to find speakers. Our first year, we had over 65 people sign up. With only a Freshman and Sophomore class, I felt that was pretty good!

If you are interested in hosting something like this and would like some help, or have questions, feel free to email me anytime!

Play Fantasy Football!!

For the past 3 football seasons, I have played Fantasy Football with the Coaches Staff. It is SO much fun and you really don't have to know a whole lot about NFL football to play.
I have created my own Fantasy Football Help kit. If you decide to play- email me and I will be happy to send you my Kit, which makes it so much easier to play!

How to Start Your Own Kids Spirit Group at the Games!

While at Cedar Park, and now at Rouse High School, I have been a part of starting a kids spirit group for the football team.
The spirit group is a group of kids that are Elementary Ages. They gather before each Home football game and form a line for the players to walk through on their way through the football tunnel. Then once the band starts playing and the player run out onto the field, the cheerleaders follow the players and then the Kids Spirit Group comes out of the tunnell and runs across the field into the stands!
Your group can be called a number of different things. Try to come up with something that is age appropriate. At Cedar Park, we were called the Pack Pups and at Rouse, they are called the Raider Rousers.
There are a lot of High Schools in Texas that have this tradition. If your school doesn't have it, ask if you can start it! I have all of my fliers and forms and will be more than happy to email them to you so that you can use them as a guide for starting your own! It is easy and it is a great way to get involved with the community and its also a great way to promote your school!