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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 02:45pm
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Location: Arlington, TX
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I was almost useless

Had a game last Friday. Two private schools who are big rivals. The little facility only holds about 1,000 but it was SRO and extremely loud. At halftime we are talking and feeling pretty good about how things are going. That must have jinxed me.

Early in the third quater I have a hold on H23 in the lane from the L. Understand, this guy is either 6-10 or 6-11 and the next tallest guy on the floor at the time was maybe 6-3. As the players are headed down the floor I report the foul of white 12 (12 was the number of the player held). I am about to administer the throw-in and it hits me. I look at the table and can tell they are wondering what I have been drinking. I jog over and correct the reporting. When I get back to my spot the player is grinning at me so I just tell him I had a brain [email protected] and he laughs and said "Been there dude". Down at the other end I have a bang-bang play right in front of me and I call an block. The place goes nuts and all of a sudden I am thinking I screwed it up.

Somehow the combination of those two things gets my flustered. All of a sudden my whistle is really slow...coaches start chirping (rightfully so)...and my reaction to changes in direction is slow. Even when I started doing a little play-by-play in my head of what I am seeing it takes me a good 5 minutes of game time to get myself focused.

I have not felt that useless on a court in a long time. Other than the self-talk does anyone have advice of what else might work? Honestly, I felt like stopping play and going bang my head on the wall in an attempt to knock myself back to reality.
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 02:58pm
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Kind of like that dream where you're running from something and your legs feel like they're being held back by bungee cords. Ugh.

I am by no means a doctor, but perhaps might this have been some kind of panic attack? After all, you said it started after a wild crowd reaction in which you doubted yourself.

Could be you were just light headed at a bad time (maybe dehydrated?), but if it happens again, I would recommend seeing a doctor.
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 03:11pm
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The best cure for a bad game, IMHO, is the next game.

Start fresh tonight (or tomorrow, or whatever).
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 03:16pm
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Been there...

I am currently going through this more often than I would like as I start getting better and better (and quicker) varsity contests. When I start feeling overwhelmed, I try to slow myself down when I can.

One thing I notice myself doing (not sure if you do this, but it works for me) is that when I get overwhelmed, I notice myself ball watching. An official at camp this past year said that if the game seems fast, chances are you are ball watching. Ever since he said this, I have noticed how true it is and make sure I focus on what I need to - my PCA and make sure I slow myself down. At some point, I get over the missteps and get back in control.

Can't change the past and you are only as good as your next call.
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 03:16pm
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If you're doing a rvialry varsity game, you've obviously been doing this a while. And you've obviously had games where you were dead on. Everyone lays an egg once in a while -- referees as well as athletes. I always tell my son as an athlete that when he has those great moments/games, to file them away to go back to, cuz he's gonna have the crappy day, too, and needs to remember the feeling of it all going right and draw himself back to that after one of those bad days. So I'd say the same thing to you: get back out there, and remember the days you were "on" before you get back out there -- don't let one bad day (if it even was) get you down.
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 03:24pm
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: IL
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Make an anchor. On top of self-talk, I use a form of this technique, and it works really well for me for when I need to refocus in a game.

http://refereemindset.com/build-rock...steps-referees
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 03:31pm
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You laying an egg is probably better than half the officials out there on their best days.
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Old Mon Jan 12, 2015, 04:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BatteryPowered View Post
...Somehow the combination of those two things gets my flustered. All of a sudden my whistle is really slow...coaches start chirping (rightfully so)...and my reaction to changes in direction is slow...
You got "caught in quicksand". Fortunately, in officiating, the survival rate is 100%. The cure is the buzzer and 0:00 showing on the scoreboard. Analyze what happened to land you in quicksand in the last game and learn from it. Put this one out of your memory and move on (quickly, if possible) to your next game.The next one is almost always better.
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Old Wed Jan 14, 2015, 01:56pm
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"been there dude" ??? Haven't been addressed that way yet
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Old Wed Jan 14, 2015, 02:17pm
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Gotta be able to reset yourself in situations like this. It pisses you off that you screwed something up? Good...but take a deep breath and when you blow it out, all that is over with and you are ready to go on. We all make mistakes. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and then ref the rest of the game as perfectly as you can.
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Old Wed Jan 14, 2015, 02:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Zebra View Post
You got "caught in quicksand". Fortunately, in officiating, the survival rate is 100%. The cure is the buzzer and 0:00 showing on the scoreboard. Analyze what happened to land you in quicksand in the last game and learn from it. Put this one out of your memory and move on (quickly, if possible) to your next game.The next one is almost always better.
I can't stress the above point enough to hammer that into your head if you've had a 'bad' game. Last Friday I didn't have a varsity game so I worked a freshman game. Partner was a younger official, but capable one. We had a good pregame. Game was a blowout, but there were several screwups on my part. First call of the game I got the call right but didn't catch whether the shot dropped on a shooting foul (it did) and then I forgot the shooter.

Later in the game we had a blarge situation (its been a LONG time since that happened). I just wasn't happy with my performance at all. On the drive home I was telling myself to not let this game beat you next week.

Fast forward to last night and I had a BV game. Game was a blowout, working with a good partner and last Friday's game didn't beat me. Didn't have any obvious mental errors and the game was as smooth as can be. It was just a matter of me refocusing mentally and blocking out the last game. Didn't register to me at all before or during the game about my less than stellar performance the previous Friday.

We all have bad games and games we aren't happy about. Forgetting about the last game, but still learning from it is a key development in any officials growth in my opinion....
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