THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
An article by Ryan Ocenada for theladders.com this year gave us another insight into the world of sports officials. It specifically noted five things that the common man can take from the life of the official and use in his or her own life.
Specifically, those five things were:
1. Criticism rarely goes away, so get used to it.
2. Keep your cool, no matter how bad the other guy is.
3. Control your ego and don't flip out when you're questioned.
4. Be prepared and know your job inside and out.
5. Be charming and well-presented.
So much of that makes sense in any walk of life, whether considering your profession or your personal life. How many times have we been in a bad mood around our significant other and lost our cool when we were questioned, no matter whether we were right or not? How many times have we needed to know the minute details of our job in order to persuade our boss that we are competent? How many times have we sealed a deal simply by looking good?
That's right, so much in officiating is actually controlled by looking the part. If you walk onto the field with clean and pressed clothes, speak properly, and calmly and respectfully interact with people, you could potentially not know anything about the sport, but coaches may believe you! This point has been proved time and again with the many examples in both business and pleasure, from persuading customers to purchase things they don't need to getting a date.
But consider the one point about how criticism doesn't go away. It's the unfortunate truth about how we can find people being critical of everything everywhere. The non-stop news cycle and their respective pundits are constantly doing this. Media members have to write opinionated pieces to sell their product. It makes you wonder why it has to be that way. Taking it a step further, are you a catalyst to that?
You don't have to be. Nobody does. That's not to say you're not entitled to your opinion. Sometimes criticism is necessary, even constructively. Perhaps the better plan is to simply think about what you're feeling before you express it. After all, there will always be criticism out there...you don't have to contribute to it.
And the many sports officials will thank you for considering that before yelling at them.