I play on a volleyball team. Until recently (due to a history of all-business coaches) I didn’t realise that a coach is also part of the team. It’s not a team and a coach, it’s just a team.
The coach is part of the team. Although they don’t go on court or in the field or play for you guys, they’re still a part of the team. They encourage you to do better and push you to your limit and never let you give up without a fight. They joke with you and poke fun and look over you like seniors do juniors. They are the string that ties everyone together to form a cohesive army on court. They are your friend and your teammate and your teacher all in one.
And they are just as essential as your sports gear or best player.