You Never Know Who Is Watching

This summer I was at officiating camp, working my second game of the day.  During a full time-out, I was standing midway up the lane line. According to our CCA Manual, that’s not where I should have been standing, and I know this.  My partner was an older woman, lifelong camper, and quite frankly just not that good (sorry).  It had not dawned on me she would be observing my actions, but when a clinician pulled me aside I was reminded “you never know who is watching.”


I was told the older official went to her end of the court during the time-out and then she kinda stalled and waited to see where I stood along the lane line and then she stood at the exact same place on her end of the court. (DangItJim!)  Now we had a game of Monkey-see Monkey-do and this monkey was in the wrong stinkin’ spot!!

I was so disappointed in myself.  Not for being caught, but because I was not doing what I knew to be right!  Thomas Jefferson is quoted for saying, “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” As if the World were watching, WOW!  For those who don’t know, in the world of officiating I have learned that someone is ALWAYS watching and they may very well TELL THE WORLD if they feel it will effect your career.  In this camp scenario my positioning didn’t hurt anything, but I still got caught taking a short cut and not being a model official.

As I was reflecting on this, I read a blog written for high school athletes, coaches, players, and fans.  He wrote a blog after sitting with several college coaches as they evaluated talent at a very good high school baseball tournament.  He ended his post with this:

If you think that college coaches and professional scouts do not notice the “little things” you are mistaken. As one coach told me …. “We have to pay attention to each of the intangibles, it is the only real separator between some of these guys.” He went on to explain that each recruiting year they will have several players on their board that are essentially equal in athletic skills and ability. What then makes the difference is the “Little Things.”

So the next time you think that it doesn’t matter how you hustle or present yourself maybe you should revisit that part of your game. As another coach told me … “A player can hustle and give his maximum effort even on a day when he and/or his team is not playing their best game. It doesn’t take any athletic ability to hustle.”

You Never Know Who Is Watching

As we begin this officiating season, many of us are working new leagues or being promoted to veteran or senior staff in our other leagues. We must remember there is always someone watching!  And whether we like it or not there will be many people “on the board” with essentially equal talent, play calling, and speed.  It will be the little things that separate you and me from the rest of the pack.  It doesn’t take any ability to stand in the right place at time outs, follow proper mechanics, and study the rules.  It takes discipline and a commitment to do the right thing – ALL THE TIME.

I challenge you to take every game this season with the attitude “as if the all the world were watching.”  Don’t let me down.  If you are caught doing one of the “little things” this year, post it.  Tell me about it.  I will be proud of you.

About Rachael Melot

Entrepreneur - Mentor - Speaker - Blogger I find great joy in helping people become their best self by seeking personal, professional and physical success daily.
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10 Responses to You Never Know Who Is Watching

  1. Pingback: Last Game of the Season | To Referee the Game – You Gotta Know the Rules

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  3. richripley says:

    Being a first year official (last year) I had a steep learning curve. I ended the season working at the same high school for several games/nights. As my partner and I were changing into our street shoes and putting on our jackets (it was a freshman doubleheader…no locker room for us) several people approached us thanked us and told us that they could tell that we cared. One guy even said this to me “I’ve watched you this year…you’ve grown and you’re doing good.” He was just a regular guy, not an assigner…just Joe Public. It was one of the best experiences of my short career. My point is…if the little things are addressed in a timely and professional manner, you hustle, respect the game, players and coaches and manage dead-ball situations things are set up to fall into place.

    great posts!


    • Ref_Writer says:

      Hey RichRipley – Thanks for sharing your story. I am always so proud of my fellow officials who referee for the LOVE OF THE GAME! And that says so much that Joe Public noticed you, appreciated you and felt convicted enough to tell you his observations. To my point “You Never Know Who is Watching”.
      My brother referees high school basketball and I love to watch him officiate with that smile and that inner joy of just serving the kids.
      This is such a great profession/hobby/interest for so many of us – keep up the good work! Make all of us who wear the stripes proud as you work this coming season!


  4. Ref_Writer says:

    Very good point “someone”.


  5. Jason says:

    Good stuff! To go along with this, always remember: Somebody has never seen you work every time you take the floor.

    Would you want that somebody to watch you on a game and see you being lazy or not doing the things you are supposed to? If they’ve never seen you work before, then they have no idea if you are a good or bad official. Treat every game like nobody knows how good you are because you can only make one first impression!


    • Anonymous says:

      Jason – You are exactly right! That is a great point. Those first impressions are so important, not only to those people “above us” but also to those who are thinking about the profession and watch us. We never know who those people are in the stands, or on the bench.
      Most importantly, the coaches and the players deserve our best effort every game!


    • Refwriter says:

      Jason thank you for your comments! Somebody is always watching and you are always making an impression on them with every action.


  6. Jason Melot says:

    Great advice….


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