Thursday, April 28, 2011

Elevating Your Crew Not Just Yourself.........

Since I am unemployed, I have plenty of time on my hands these days.  I spent yesterday playing golf with a couple of fellow referees (and another guy).  Today, I cleaned up the house a bit and setup a new printer I had gotten to replace an older printer that had stopped working. Afterward, I went out to a local gym and participated in some three person officiating training with my high school officiating group.

There were a lot of mechanical things that were pointed out to me and my other crew members by the observers.  That wasn't too surprising.  The other two crew members hadn't done too much three person officiating.  As for myself, I had gone to camps previously and worked some three person games.  However, it had been a long time since I'd been to a camp and actually worked a three person game.  I was rusty and all the mechanical things were good points.  I also have some video I needed to review as it was observed I was running a little strangely.  I can't really comment too much until I review the video but at some point during the night, my left knee starting aching a bit and I may have been compensating.  Obviously, observers don't know that and there is no excuses but I'll take a look at the video and see how things went.

The one observation that stood out tonight was that I needed to step up my management of the officiating crew.  I've blogged a lot about learning to be a "referee" in the crew and tonight was just another step in the process.  I knew I hadn't worked on my three person mechanics in a while so I actually reviewed the NFHS Official's Manual to refresh my memory.  Obviously, there is only so much I can stuff into my brain in a short amount of time.

Knowing I would probably be the most experienced guy I out there, I led the pre-game and went over a lot of things.  However, it wasn't a matter of me being the "know it all".  I asked my partners about what they were familiar with and covered those items first.  Then, we all just discussed other things that we had questions about.

Alas, the shortcoming that was pointed out to me was that I needed to "make sure" my partners were doing what we did during the pre-game and take charge more.  We did cover things that occurred during the game that I thought needed to be covered.  However, there were a few "minor mechanical things" that were missed.  The observer's stance was the mechanical things weren't a major deal.  The point was more directed at me.  I was the most experienced guy out there and I needed to help my crew as much as possible.

Tonight's training pointed out the next steps I need to take.  In the past, I tended to defer to those I considered to be veterans.  They would point out things I needed to do to improve and lead the way during a game.   However, even though I have been officiating for a while,  I fall into this trap of not taking charge.  It's unusual because I take charge a lot when I PLAY basketball.

All in all, this is something that I have to work on.  After all, self improvement is great.  But the next step is to make sure your crew does great as well.  It was a positive evening and I have some things to think about and work on during a weekend basketball tournament.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

When You Have A Chance To Work With a Veteran........

You should take advantage of it!  Especially a veteran that just worked a California State High School Basketball Championship game this season and also does junior college and Division II college basketball.

Tonight, I was scheduled to work a couple of adult league basketball games.  I was expecting one partner but ended up with another one (who had all the credentials listed above).   Because my partner tonight is one of the top referees in our group, I haven't work with him recently in any leagues.  I usually work the lower level leagues (like tonight) while my partner works the "A" level adult leagues.

However, there he was coming into the gym and we had a nice conversation.  I found out he had been unemployed for a while and so we talked about my recent layoff as well.

The biggest topic though was basketball officiating.  My partner tonight is more than willing to share his experiences and knowledge.  If I had to describe my partner tonight, it would be "Keep It Simple".  My partner is very straightforward when it comes to his mechanics, the way he speaks and the way he approaches talking to players/coaches.

I can't easily summarize all the stuff we talked about today, but I learned a few pointers I'll need to implement into my own officiating.