Before you read any more of this post, I want you to think of the last three phone calls you had with an official – what was the tone and attitude of those calls? Were you positive or negative? Were you complaining about your games or someone else’s games? Be honest, I know you are competitive. You have to be in order to excel – it’s the nature of athletes. But competitiveness does not have to be negative. And I know, that you NEVER get enough games. I feel the same way. We NEVER get the right game sites, and we are NEVER fully satisfied. That is just the state of the union at the beginning of the season. I get it!
Today, I have an example of perhaps the classiest reactions I have ever heard in all my years of officiating, and I am doing my best to follow this person’s lead. Let me share this story with you.
Like you, I started getting assignments and was on the line with one of my inner circle of friends (remember, I recommend only a few people – not 10!). So I was talking with one of the two friends I discuss schedules with. Last year, this particular friend was in a car accident during season. She suffered a concussion and had to turn back several games while she recovered. In her return, some people may have thought she was not quite 100% and probably reported that to her assigners, which is fair enough and the right thing to do. But most of her assigners, I think, felt that her 80% is better than most people’s 100% so they continued to use her through the remainder of the season. You know the type – she’s just that good.
Well, she took the summer to fully recover, not doing any camps or intensive workouts, but staying sharp and in shape. When the distribution of top tier game schedules came out, she only received half the games she had in the prior year. Uh-oh. Can you say, “What the stink?” As you know, the price tag for top tier Division I games is significant, so to cut the games in half (say from 40 games to 20 games) is a lot of money.
We all know that over the years, people have begun to say that officiating is such a money business and that people are greedy and are just in it for the money. I don’t believe that is true for most officials. I believe most officials love the game, love the athleticism, and love the challenge of getting it right. But officials have had to learn to run their business of officiating, which means understanding the bottom line and where you make your money. This doesn’t make officials money hungry and greedy – it makes them wise business professionals. Just as a coach considers the paycheck in taking a new job, so should officials. (You can see previous blogs on money management listed below)
With that said, let me give you this priceless response stated by my friend when she received her assignments. She said, “Wow, that’s shocking. I only have half the number of games. But you know, I guess I don’t blame the assigner (who will remain nameless) because I guess I would be hesitant to put someone out there that may f up and hurt the integrity of the game.” And then she followed it up with, “I will just have to do what I have always done and earn their trust again. I will do my thing with the games I have gotten.”
WOW – THAT’S POWERFUL. Let me repeat what she said, “I will just have to do what I have always done and earn their trust again.”
I titled this article, “Attitude is Everything” because I believe this attitude displayed by my friend is exactly what I should emulate. She is my role model. So I challenge you: Check your attitude. John C. Maxwell is quoted as saying: “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”
So today, my friends, grow up and take total responsibility for your attitudes. It’s going to be a great year to work basketball!!
Previous blogs on money management topics: