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Photo Credit: Dale Garvey

Television newsman Neil Cavuto says, “There’s nothing wrong or evil about having a bad day. There’s everything wrong with making others have to have it with you.”

For most of us, officiating is an escape from the real world. As difficult as it may be to separate one aspect of your life from another, you must do exactly that.

Officiating is a big commitment. Juggling the responsibilities of your regular job, your family life and your officiating is difficult. But if the juggling challenge affects the way you deal with people on the court or field, your career is already in jeopardy and the juggling may not be worth the effort.

If it’s feasible, take a power nap a few hours before the game. Perhaps your nasty disposition is the product of fatigue. A little sleep will recharge your batteries and improve your overall outlook.

Start adjusting before you get to your game

Start that attitude adjustment on the way to the game. Set aside thoughts of job and domestic problems by thinking of situations you may face in the game. Not only will it change your mindset, it will prepare you for the game and get you thinking officiating.

Sometimes past experience with a team or coach puts us in a sour mood before the game begins. Begin each game anew without harboring old grudges. If the problematic coach tries to bring up old battles, cut off the conversation firmly but politely. “It’s a new day, Coach. The slate is clean.”

Expect questions about your judgment. It happens most every game whether you are in a good mood or not. Players expect officials to hustle and work the game in a fair and consistent manner. They also want an official who is approachable.

Don’t take your personal problems out on others. If a player (or a coach, for that matter) asks a legitimate question in a sportsmanlike manner, provide a calm and reasoned answer.

Instead of looking at your game as just another source of frustration on a lousy day, think of it as a two-hour escape from reality. Who knows? What happens on the field or court may actually result in your leaving feeling better than when you arrived.

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Note: This article is archival in nature. Rules, interpretations, mechanics, philosophies and other information may or may not be correct for the current year.

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