Football Coaches: Balancing Work and Family

I’m never quite sure what to make of these last weeks of the year. If you are fortunate enough to have a job if you want one — and unfortunately that’s still a big if for millions — you have to work hard to balance the multiple and often conflicting demands of work and family. That’s true throughout the year certainly. But it strikes me as being even more challenging during the holidays.

Hey. I’m quasi-retired and I’m under the gun to try to do a little work, head to the store, collect the trash, rush to the airport, visit with family and friends and so on. You know — let’s call them life things. We all deal with them — and I have it easy in comparison with most. Trust me.

That’s why the Urban Meyer story touches on an issue that is — and dare I say it? — more important than sports. Citing personal health concerns and a desire to spend more time with his family, Meyer over the weekend said he was resigning as head football coach at Florida. Then a day later he changed that to taking an indefinite leave. Whatever. That’s the sports story.

More importantly, Meyer’s story is about trying to balance work and family — or more generally, work and life. William C. Rhoden has an interesting take on this in his NYT column, “A Seesaw Day in a Groping for Balance.”

This is an issue that ripples throughout our society, involving women and men, young and old, poor and rich. And trying to figure out a way to balance work and family gathers considerable commentary and attention, but few, if any, easy solutions. For instance, I did a Google search for “work and family balance” and found more than 46 million citations. Go figure.

And if you are interested in this issue, the Sloan Work and Family Research Network and Boston College has a comprehensive Web site full of research studies, background information and tips. (Disclosure: I have a modest and informal relationship with this organization via my association with Corporate Voices for Working Families.)

Finding the way to strike the right balance between work and family is difficult.

Urban Meyer, and I expect most football coaches in the top-tier of their profession, know this whether they want to admit it or not.

Hey. We all do.

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