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A Tribute To My Fellow ‘‘Coaches'’’ Wives

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The struggle is real.

Mandy Roussel

Now that we are a fourth of a way into the season, I've decided to take advantage of this platform and discuss a very serious illness. Wannabecoachitis affects millions of Americans and claims thousands of relationships each year. It is most commonly seen in males and does not discriminate between age, race or socioeconomic status, although men who played sports as an adolescent have a greater chance of being afflicted with this disease. There is a strong likelihood that you are or someone you care about is struggling with Wannabecoachitis, and it is important that you recognize the symptoms in order to get yourself or a loved one the right help.

If you or someone you know watches "game film" multiple times after the original airing of the game and exhibits any of the following behaviors: excessive rewinding, fast forwarding and pausing, extensive note taking in a predetermined "game plan" notebook, or pointing at the tv as if it is a green screen, you are most likely dealing with Wannabecoachitis. Weekly conference calls to discuss the game, specifically to dissect what went wrong , what should have been done and ideas for next week's game are often seen with this illness. If you or someone you know owns the exact windbreaker worn by the coach, a headset or dry erase board, you are already at stage four and should seek help immediately.

Brandy* recalls her first experience with Wannabecoachitis. "I thought it was a little strange when my husband asked for a 5'x7' dry erase board for his birthday. I kept telling myself that maybe he had finally decided to take my advice and start a to-do list because he has always been so forgetful. I had never heard of Wannabecoachitis, so I was really disturbed when I walked in on him drawing X's and O's on the board and speaking to an empty room. He claimed he had someone on FaceTime, but is that really any better? I just hope that by sharing my story, I can help spread awareness and prevent other wives from enabling this illness."

Max* remembers the moment he realized he had become afflicted with Wannabecoachitis.

"I just always thought I was really good with numbers, and that was why I was able to memorize the jersey numbers of every player on the team. Then one day, a co-worker asked when my oldest child was born, and I couldn't remember. The date that your first child is born is not only a number, it's supposed to be one of the most important numbers of your life. If I was so good with numbers, why couldn't I remember those numbers? That's when I realized I had a problem."

If you can relate to these testimonials, please know that you are not alone. There is help available to you. The Wannabecoachitis Treatment Facility (WTF) offers you and your family the support necessary to gently transition from "coach" to fan.

Addison* had been coping with her husband's Wannabecoachitis for over a decade, before he successfully completed a full course of treatment at WTF.

"When we had season tickets, my husband would make me stay until the very end of all the games. On one occasion, the team was winning by 40 points against a no-name team, and we were sitting third row from the top of the upper deck in freezing rain. He made me stay until they sang the alma mater because he wanted to 'see his third stringers take some snaps.' We went from incidents like that to selling our season tickets and watching from home. I'm so proud of the fan he has become, and I owe it all to WTF."

It's time to become the coach of your own life. Call 1-800-WTF-DUDE today.

*Actual names have been withheld to protect the families.