Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Humbling Thyself

Like many basketball (and other sports) officials out there, I have sometimes wondered why I don't get better games to work, especially at the high school varsity level. I feel I am a good official who deserves a chance. It's hard not to feel envious when you see others who may be at the same level as you get opportunities that you don't get.

Interestingly though, I feel like I have gained a fresher perspective in the five months I was laid off. I can see this perspective when I returned back to work a month ago.

Remember that I was rehired by the same company that laid me off back in April. I easily could have been bitter and angry. While I wasn't thrilled to be laid off, I understood it was a business decision. I remained in touch with my co-workers and my old manager. I believe it was my attitude that convinced my manager to bring me back when the opportunity presented itself.

In returning to work, my attitude was one of gratitude. I appreciated the opportunity to return to my old job. I also had to humble myself a bit. In reviewing my first stint at the job, I realized that I thought that I was better than I actually was. Even though my co-workers appreciate what I bring to the job, I realized that I had a lot more things to learn and improve on. In the month I've been back, I think I've made some strides but still have some ways to go.

Humbling myself also applies to my basketball officiating. I may have a lot of years in officiating experience but I don't think I have learned all my lessons as well as I should have. That was the ultimate eye opener. I realized that my job and officiating have similar parallels. Both involve people and handling different situations. Until you show people (both at my job and officiating) that you can handle certain things, you will be handling lower profile duties. In my job, it may be dealing with lower profile prospects. In my officiating, it may be working junior varsity or lower intensity varsity basketball games.

As the high school basketball season slowly closes in, I no longer worry about the quality of games I will be receiving. I am appreciative of any games that I do receive. My hope is that I will learn something from each of the games I work so I better improve myself in the future.

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