I've officiated sports for nearly 20 years. As I have piled on the years, I noticed that I run into a ton of former youth and/or high school players who recognize me. Not only do they recognize me, they remember parts of games where I officiated and something happened. It's actually a good feeling when people remember you as an official.
I mention this because a couple of years ago, I ran into a current high school basketball player who recognized me from her youth days. I was officiating some of her club team basketball games and so she said hi. Turns out she was playing varsity for her high school as well. As I worked a few JV games at her high school the past two seasons, we would always say hi.
As I had not officiated high school this season, I had not run into her at all. However, I decided to stop by her team's state playoff game tonight. It was an opportunity to watch a good game and say hi to the the young lady. Her team ended up winning and will have a long commute to their semi-final game.
Unfortunately, the young lady did not play in the game. However, we did chat after the game a bit. When I asker her how her season had been going, she expressed disappointment that she hasn't played much this season after starting last season. While I never played high school basketball myself, I encouraged her to stay positive and enjoy the experience. After all, playing for your school only comes once a lifetime.
Though the young lady only knows me as an official, she probably didn't realize I was also a coach for a long time. It was great that she was willing to share her feelings about her season and I was thankful for an opportunity to give her some positive encouragement. It's not part of my regular job description as an official but just like I encourage friends when they are down (and vice versa), I just did what I thought was needed.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Encouraging Players As An Official
Labels: basketball, coaches, community, officiating
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It's great that you reach out to people like that.ReplyDelete