Are you ready for the season? The question
would be better stated, are you prepared for the season? It is
amazing when I talk to officials and find how many different
ways referees prepare for the season. Beyond the regular pre-season
meeting you attend with your association, really what are some
things you can do to get ready. Lets think about the mental,
physical, and social readiness for your upcoming season.
1. Individual review and study of your
rule book, case book and manual. Use your special private time
(like when you go to the bathroom !) to study a chapter of the
rules and the appropriate applications in the case book. Your
regularity could determine the pace that you get through the
books . A better plan is to do a rule per day. WORK ON YOUR AREAS
OF WEAKNESS, REVIEW YOUR AREAS OF STRENGTH.
2. Group study. If you have other officials
in your area, invite them over for a group study session ( I
suggest that you use your living room or den for this session
rather than your bathroom). Lots of good discussion can come
from communication with other referees . Dont make it a
who is right or who is wrong session. Let you goal be to make
yourself and your officiating friends better in rules knowledge
3.Talk about plays . Discuss plays and
application no matter what game you work. I spend a lot of time
talking to high school and college officials about their game
situations, and then take the same play and apply NBA rules.
This is just another way to keep the thought process stimulated.
Dont let different rules be an excuse for eliminating discussion.
Be willing to share, learn, and enjoy one another.
4. Review old tests. Take your old tests
and if they are true-false, make them corrective. What that means
is this: If the answer is false, change the information in the
question so that the question would result in a true answer.
This is really a good personal or group activity. Go back to
one of the fundamentals of education---- MAKE LEARNING FUN. The
ultimate goal is to learn the information needed to do the work.
A TEST SCORE HAS ITS PLACE, BUT THAT PLACE IS NOT AHEAD
OF THE KNOWLEDGE THAT RESULTS FROM THE PROCESS OF TAKING IT.
5. Review Past Game Tapes. The beauty of
history is that history gives you a base from which to realize
the positives and negatives of the past, evaluate it, and take
the information for use improvement. Your past game tapes ( or
any game tape ) is a step into an officiating past which can
be an excellent tool to your personal growth and improvement.
Review the tape with an open mind and evaluate with the desire
to correct and improve. Educate yourself so that you get closer
to working the elusive perfect game.
WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH LEARNING, YOU ARE
1. Get a thorough annual physical. During
the physical, be honest with what is health information. At that
moment, treat the physician as your best friend. Ask questions,
and follow the advice you are given. Leave the examination with
the peace of mind that you are ready to live the rest of the
day to the fullest. If you are injured or ill, you need to know
right now. Your general health is far more important than your
desire to work one more basketball game. Remember the love of
your family and friends is far more important than what you want
to do between the lines. Let basketball be a part of a beautiful
life, not the life.
2. Keep yourself involved in a year round
workout routine. As you approach the beginning of the season,
do more stretching and flexibility activity and some sport specific
walking, jogging and running. Dont let the first sprint
you run be on the opening tip of your first game. A physician
or personal trainer can help develop a program for you. Your
goal should be to have the ability to run the floor for the entire
game and get the best position to cover the plays. REMEMBER,
some games go overtime !
THE BODY YOU TAKE CARE OF WHEN YOU ARE
YOUNG, WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU ARE OLD. (A Rooneyism.)
3. Get in front of the mirror and practice
your signal presentation. The image doesnt lie. Do you
like what you see when you stop the clock, when you call a foul,
when you have a jump ball ? How do you like your table presentation
(color, number, nature of the foul, shots, or spot) ? Are your
signals for a push, block, hold or hack strong ? These are physical
skills that you should work to near perfection. And by the way,
report to the table the act that occurred on the court. Dont
have, and use a pet signal when reporting to the
table. Try this exercise: For one week, stop at every mirror
you pass and do a report to the table. The people that observe
this might think you are a little strange but it might make for
interesting conversation. BE PROUD OF YOUR PROFESSION OR AVOCATION
AND LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT YOU WORK AT YOUR CRAFT.
4. Whistle and voice. When your blow your
whistle everything stops. Blow it with strength and conviction.
Use your voice in the same manner. Exude confidence, certainty
and clarity. Practice using voice and whistle whenever you can.
And dont forget to practice your ball toss!!
1.Evaluate your officiating wardrobe. Have
you worn the same pants, stripes and shoes for the past FEW years?
Do you have to suck in your tummy to zip the zipper? Is there
a black patch under the arm pit of your shirt? Does the height
of the hem on your pants reflect that you are in a flood plain
? Are your shoes glowing on the outside, but you have used your
5th new innersole purchase from the local pharmacy on the inside
? If any of this is true it might be time to evaluate you travel
bag and invest in a new outfit. Proper shoes will help the pounding
you do on the court. An annual change of new shoes is certainly
in order (by the way I am not in the shoe business, but I can
recommend some friends who can help you) to keep the reduction
of joint stress injuries. You cant go wrong with a new
wardrobe to help improve your presentation and comfort when you
hit the court. DRESS FOR SUCCESS. FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF WHEN
YOU HIT THE HARDWOOD.