Tag Archives: mistakes

Mental Resilience

One of my good officiating buddies and I chatted a few weeks ago about how there is very little training on how officials handle the mental stress of a game or the stress that comes after making an error. We study the rulebook and the mechanics manual. We ask questions from the more experienced officials we work with. We call one another to go over weird situations that we ran into, or try and create the most outlandish situations that could possibly happen to stump our friends. Still, as my friend and I chatted, neither of us thought that there was much information out there to help officials become more mentally strong especially after making a mistake.

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Why Did I Do That?

Officiating is not immune to the human condition. Even though everyone associated with the game expects the crew to be perfect it is never going to happen. To be fair, no player or coach has ever played or coached perfectly, but no one cares about those mistakes. Our mistakes get talked about at the office water cooler and lampooned by commentators if you are officiating in front of a national audience. We cannot eliminate all mistakes, but we can cut down on their frequency if we are honest with ourselves and each other about the on-field mistakes that we make. I cannot speak for other officials, but I can talk about the different mistakes I’ve made over my career. Hopefully, putting my mistakes out in the open will help other officials when they hit the field.

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