Favorite Gifts for Your Favorite Coach

FavoriteGifts forYour FavoriteCoach

Not only is Father’s Day coming up, but June and July are the most common months for coaching families to celebrate their wedding anniversaries! I’ve compiled a list of gifts that I think are unique, useful, or both!

Check out my suggestions for favorite gifts for your favorite coach:

Qalo Silicone Ring

Ordell recently switched to his first Qalo ring. His gold band has become pretty misshapen from strength training. Qalo has a great message, tons of variety and a discount for sis.life members!

Personalized Belt

Holtz Leather belts are beautifully made with a classic look. More than that, you can personalize them with a message on the inside! I love this idea. How cool is it you can remind your coach each time he dresses up how proud you are of him?

Digital Photo Book

Have you had an especially great run that you want to document? Digital scrapbooks are a great way to feature photos and stories together. Shutterfly and Walmart are both services I’ve used in the past.

For Your Foodie

Do you find yourself constantly sending snacks to the office? I love this new subscription service UrthBox, a healthy snack subscription service. This is a great way to encourage healthier snacks and discover some new treats to stock up on.

I love this set of four Habanero Hot Sauces or these Bourbon Infused Coffee beans from Uncommon Goods.

Technology

Does your coach love to watch film? Check out this cool smartphone projector. 

If you haven’t jumped on the external battery bandwagon yet it might be time. Cell phone batteries are not what they used to be!

Does your guy misplace his keys? The Tile products are the perfect solution. Slip one on his key ring, one in the wallet, and even attach one to his gym bag if needed. They work in reverse to help you find your smartphone too!

Movie Pass

You may think I’m crazy to feature going to the movies, but Movie Pass is the coolest thing it’s worth considering. For $9.95 a month you can go to four movies a month with participating theaters.

This means spontaneous dates now have a destination!! No stressing about waiting to make sure the movie isn’t a waste of money. If it looks good, ya go!

Happy Anniversary coaches wives! Enjoy the summer break. Camp will be here soon.

 

Favorite Freelancing Sites

favorite freelancing sites

I’ve been freelancing since last September accepting content marketing article assignments. I’ve learned a few things along the way that may help those of you looking for a side hustle. I mentioned freelancing as an option on my list of Top Jobs for Coaches’ Wives.  Since then I’ve received several inquiries as to which sites are my favorite and which to avoid.

Here are my Favorite Freelancing Sites:

Writers Access

My favorite site for freelancing jobs is Writers Access. As a content marketing writer, I was able to build a solid list of clients within a few weeks of submitting my profile. I receive 6-8 content assignment offers on average each pay period which is every two weeks.

I don’t accept every assignment offered, but most of them are accepted early in the week and have due dates over the weekend giving me several days to work on each article. In addition to each client who sends me steady work, Writers Access does a great job of marketing themselves so there are always new opportunities to apply through a casting call.

Writers Access is the top site on my list for two specific reasons. First, compared to other sites they pay well and provide a reasonable structure to receive raises. Your inital level (and pay rate) is determined by a grammar test you take online. Second, every assignment I accept is a guaranteed payment as long as I complete the work. There is never a time when I write for free.

Writers Access is a great platform for more than content writers. They have sections for copywriters, legal writers and tech writers as well.

nDash

nDash allows you to set your own rates and pitch assignments before you do the work. This means you will be paid for every assignment you receive. nDash provides profile coaching and encourages writers to let their personalities shine.

Although there is a lot of opportunities available on nDash I found the structure similar to LinkedIn and with all the other writing I’m doing I don’t have the time to focus on pitching. That being said, the freedom to set your own rates is great, but you also need to set competitive rates or you may be beat out by other writers even if they are less experienced.

BlogMutt

BlogMutt was the first site I wrote for, and it was a perfect way to gain experience and confidence. BlogMutt pays well for the number of words required with each assignment, but there is not a guarantee the article you submit will be chosen. This means that you may write a lot of articles and not sell them.

I love that BlogMutt allows you to write as many articles as you want within your level. I also like that the level is initially determined by a grammar test, but there is also the opportunity to raise your level and therefore your word count opportunities. The longer the article, the more you will be paid if you sell the content.

Other Freelancing Sites to Explore

I’ve compiled a list of freelancing websites you may consider exploring for additional work. Not all freelancing sites are legitimate. Any website that requires you to pay in advance is not worth your time. The websites listed below have been included because I personally know someone who uses the site to find freelancing projects.

  • Textbroker
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Scripted
  • Zerys
  • Constant Content
  • CopyWriter Today
  • Speedlancer
  • Problogger

 

Read more Freelancing Website breakdowns here.

How to Best Support Your Booster Board

Booster Board Support

One of the biggest changes in the last year as we’ve transitioned from college football to high school is how different the opportunities there are for our whole family to serve the team. I’ll be honest, after almost two decades of the same insane schedule I was a little bewildered on where to begin to establish our new football normal.

I had a clean slate of opportunities. There were zero expectations as to whether I would support our booster board or even attend the football games. That left a lot of space to jump in (or not) but also created a unique opportunity.

Here’s how we are Best Supporting Our Booster Board:

Observe

With each year the booster board will look different as seniors graduate and new parents join the group. I believe this creates a new opportunity for traditions to be re-evaluated and tweaked to best serve the group as a whole for the coming season.

Instead of jumping in with a “we always” take time to listen and observe body language. Is this a group of parents who are eager to serve but already has over-commitment-itis? Or is this a group that has worked together before and has well-defined roles?

Wait

At the first booster board meeting, I attended the parents had many roles established. Since they meet year-round officers had job descriptions and knew where they had holes to fill. Since this is the parent’s booster board you aren’t likely to ever have a position as an officer, so consider yourself support staff. 😉

As the booster officers are announcing the ways parents can be involved or the holes they need help filling let the parents volunteer first. I’ll be honest, this was hard for me, but in the end, I believe it is an important step.

The parent’s involvement in fundraising, being present in the stands and seeing your husband invest in their sons is the priority here. 

Say Yes Where You Can

When all was said and done there was a job that the booster board was very concerned about filling. They wanted someone to be on the sidelines at the football games and possibly practices taking action shot pictures of their sons.

They had a few needs with this task:

  • It couldn’t be a parent
  • They wanted the pictures to be large in quantity
  • They didn’t want to pay someone if at all possible.

Taking pictures of our teams is something I’ve done for years. It’s also something that I enjoy. This was an easy way to step up and support our parents as a whole, fill a need for our booster board and stay involved. As an added bonus, this job is one that allows me to serve the team in a way they see, which is a cool way to show them we support our coach without having to say it.

Don’t be Afraid to Say No

There was another large gap that needed filling this year, that was the concessions. The thing about concessions is that often needs extra help because it’s rarely a favorite of anyone. This includes me. 🙂

Here’s the thing, concessions are a massive fundraiser for any booster board, and if they want the special things for their sons they need to step up. There is a balance between helping to fill a gap and doing the work that parents can do.

This goes both ways, even if there is something you love to do if a parent prefers to take on the role, it’s theirs for the taking.

Be Grateful

The last thing I’ll add is to always be grateful for the parents and to let them know you see their sacrifice of time and value them. If appropriate take time to send them thank-you notes after the season or even purchase flowers or a small gift for the board members who have gone above and beyond.

One caution, don’t establish a standard you aren’t willing to continue. If you aren’t going to give a gift each year, don’t do so publically.

Supporting a booster board isn’t always possible. You may find that parents prefer a separation between staff and families. That’s ok! Each season is different, each team is different, and every school is different. If you are looking for small ways to support your teams consider partnering with your booster board. In my experience, it’s a great way to stay involved.

The Season Stock Up List

Thoughts From the Sidelines

Football season is here! Weeks of summer practice have been replaced with…well, actually weeks of practice. But now there are games to prepare for and that has increased the energy level in our household.

Time is short with all of our weekends book for the next several months. I’ve learned that stocking up on some of our favorite things now will help to stave off the midseason meltdown that creeps up out of nowhere. Coaches’ wives you know what I mean. When a balanced meal seems overwhelming and you realize your bonus stache of toiletries and snacks is gone so you panic to order enough food to last the rest of the season and then you are still eating through things in February? Just me? Ok then.

Stocking up has become a preseason tradition for another reason. Since Ordell became a head coach I’ve found that stocking the office with staff favorites is a tiny way I can show appreciation for how hard the coaches work. I want to add there are ZERO affiliate links in this post. Just one wife passing on tips that will hopefully help others.

Here are my favorite season stock ups:

Protein Powder

With meals on the run happening way more than I’d like to admit protein shakes have become a staple for both Coach and me. I’ve hunted around and tried more expensive shakes. This brand is the balance of cost, ingredients, taste, and product quality that works for us. I order these via Amazon Prime for the best price and of course the convenience factor.

Macrobars

Macrobar minis are another go to for our crew. The variety pack ensures we all have our favorite bars around. The calorie count on the mini is a perfect snack portion or help to round out a meal on the run.

“MacroBars™ Minis are cold-pressed, nut-butter based nutrition bars that offer a chewy and filling experience. Made from simple, clean ingredients, all MacroBars™ are certified vegan, gluten-free, organic, R.A.W., C.L.E.A.N., kosher and non-GMO project verified. Our mini version provides maximum taste with minimal calories. Only 90-110 calories of pocket-sized energy and nutrients, MacroBar Minis are a delicious and healthy snack for kids and adults who are always on-the-go.”

The best part about this treat for our family is the 25% discount I receive with my free Sisters in Sports Membership!

Dried Mango

This is a favorite road trip food. Trader Joe’s offers a spiced chili version. Whether sweet or spicey we can’t get enough dried mango.

Deep Blue

Between running around at practice, all the time on our feet at games and of course the bleachers Deep Blue is our best friend for our aging bodies. I am not exaggerating when I tell you we each have our own tube in our bedside tables.

Office Supplies

Do we have any paper? I need another pen. Any dry erase markers in the laundry this week? If it’s not my kids it’s Coach on the hunt for yet another office supply. Thankfully this is the time when things are easily accessible and put on clearance.

Sunglasses

It never fails. We are constantly breaking and losing sunglasses when we need them most. BOGO sales and summer clearance are perfectly timed for these as well.

Craft Supplies

With extra time alone I’ve found that fall is the perfect time to get lost in learning a new crochet pattern or embroidering hand towels. I can also curl up next to my guy as he breaks down film and still feel productive at the same time.

Marshmallow Pumpkins

This tradition dates back to my college years. This fall treat screams football to me now and is the perfect addition to a tense game. I’ve been known to mix them with peanuts to “balance” things out a time or two. 🙂

Freezer Foods

I spend time in August baking muffins for quick school day breakfasts. I also take the time to put together freezer meals that can be quickly dumped into the Instant Pot or Crock Pot. Even two hours of work can create dinners spaced out over a few months. (A posts dedicated to this is coming soon!)

Tea

Lots of “motivational speeches” leads to hoarse voices.

On Guard Beadlets

All that sharing of water bottles as well as close quarters in locker rooms is a recipe for strep throat or the flu. the lack of sleep doesn’t help either. This extra immunity boost is a “fall through flu season” addition to our daily routine.

Other Wives Suggest

When I posted this blog in a coaches’ wives group another stock up suggestion was offered.

Renee said she stocks up on Tailgating supplies.

Jenna compiled an awesome list HERE (love her home decor idea!)

Alyssa offers ideas for a coach’s survival kit HERE

One of the other things we try to do at the beginning of the football season is to find new game day clothing. Sometimes we add a hat or scarf to our collection, other times is the cool new sweatshirt with that new logo. Taking the time to find a game day shirt reminds our boys that they represent their dad at games. What are your season preparation tasks? I’d love to hear!