“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.
A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
Shannon L. Alder
Lets face it – people do like to talk about referees. 🙂 And while the press and ESPN may not always be kind in their words about us, our peers’ and friends’ words are often more personal. It is often the praise of a peer or assigner that drives us to work harder and be better. The “atta girl” pat on the back from a mentor can truly inspire us to reach the next level.
The “next level” for many of us is a post season tournament. You may be wrapping up this season with your first state high school assignment, a conference tournament, the Junior College Nationals, or the NCAA tournament. For whatever your post season assignment was – CONGRATULATIONS. I am proud of you.
When you run the numbers on how many referees work in your area, and in your leagues, I hope you realize what an honor it is to work in the post season. I also pray that you realize people are always watching how you handle this success.
While this topic is always relevant, at this time of year, I want you to reflect on how outsiders view your post season success. When you walked off the court the last time – what did your partners think of you, speak of you, and what will they tell their friends about how you treated them? Will coaches think you were respectful to them and their players? These are serious questions to consider as we self evaluate.
I am just like you, I have good days and bad days. I try my best to be professional, but sometimes lose my cool. I honestly respect coaches and other officials, but sometimes I simply don’t understand their decisions and choices. What I need to be reminded often is that I am not privy to all the reasons why decisions are made. I may not understand why a coach doesn’t take the time out to advance the ball, or why an assigner advances an official over me, but it is my job to show professionalism regardless of the decision.
If we remember to always do the right thing, then at the right time the right person will notice. I had the pleasure of receiving a note from a total stranger this year. He found my name and sent me a message through social media. This small note really made my day. I was reminded that if I love my job (which I do) and I approach each game with my best (which I try to do) then people will notice.
In this case he noticed AND took the time to drop a nice note. #MadeMyDay
“Hello ma’am. We met passively a couple of times here in
xxxxx at the tournament. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed watching you work. As an official you had great judgement and awareness, obviously important qualities in the job, but your interactions with coaches and players really grabbed me. As a coach, I wish there were more like you out there.
I found you to be relentlessly positive regardless of environment, moment, or interaction.”
When you look back at your last game, could someone say this about you and how you interacted with your partners, the players, and the coaches? If not, how can you better your game demeanor?
I hope my crew today will say that I was relentlessly positive regardless of the environment, moment or interaction.