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.”
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.