Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's All About The Mental Attitude

It's been a while since I posted but I'm back with a brief post tonight.  The past few years have been a frustrating one when it came to officiating.

Due to some personal things, I had decided to take a leave of absence for 2012-2013 season.  It was a difficult decision but the right thing for me to do.  When the 2013-2014 season came around, my original set of personal issues were in the rear view mirror.  However, I had a new set of issues that I had to take into consideration.   I considering taking a second leave of absence but ultimately chose to remain "active" but informed the high school assignors that I would have limited availability.

I managed to work a few games during the early part of the season and even had a game or two in 2014.  I wasn't expecting much more than that.   However, my schedule unexpectedly opened up late January.  I informed my assignors that I would be available to fill in for any games on an emergency basis.  It worked out as I ended up working several games when people had to cancel at the last minute.  I even had two fairly competitive varsity games that I would not have expected.

It was due to one of the varsity games that I realized I still had a love for officiating.  My partner and I went through a a tough game (which I may have blogged about).  It was a grueling affair physically and mentally but I survived it.

Somewhere along this time frame, I had met with a guy from our group for lunch (he is the current vice president).  We had talked about officiating and one thing he said stuck with me:  "If you are going to remain officiating, you need to work on improving all the time or you'll be going backwards".  His question to me was whether or not I was going to make the commitment.

I will admit that officiating had become a bit of an afterthought.  It may have been a mix of my personal stuff or just an attitude I picked up from my friends (some of whom thought I officiated too much).   I was just coasting through my youth games and working whatever high school games I got (some competitive, some not, but they weren't always high level).

After my talk with the other official, I thought about my situation.  Ultimately, I decided to commit to being better.   I worked on little things first (stronger presence, stronger whistle, talking to coaches, among others).  I can't judge how well I did but it was on top of mind for me to just get better.  If I got opportunities to work with better officials, I took advantage of it.

Lastly, my association is running a 3-person officiating camp for a couple of weeks.  The first week has already past.  I had a great time learning and absorbing what I could.  I don't know how I am doing but feel alright though there is room for improvement.

The main lesson is that if you change your mental attitude for things, you can change in positive ways.   This doesn't have to be for officiating!