In the beginning, as most people have mentioned on The Rant, officiating has become a pastime, a hobby, an avenue, an outlet to make more money, supplemental to anchor the other things that you are doing – whether that be a full-time job, juggling family life, and free time.
But then it becomes a burning passion within someone’s psyche that they want to get better. The more you do it, the more reps you get under your belt, it becomes more than just a side gig, it becomes an advocation.
This revelation is not possible unless you are putting in work. Reps. Working on getting better; officiating on the court, on the rink, on the field, wherever.
“I mean who am I to hold your past against you
I just hope that it gets to you
I hope that you see this through
I hope that you see this trueWhat can I say?
Please recognize I’m trying baby.”
This is the rule that can’t not be recognized: that is work.
All the while, without fail, there are two paths:
Path 1: There are the formal games, and informal ones. Pee Wee T Ball is not the same thing as Game 7 of the World Series; both are important. Pee Wee is the initial stage into getting to the World Series; for every official, every referee, each umpire has to start – somewhere. Reps count, and that T Ball game has indelible experiences that may inform an official to that path to get to the majors. Some officials are completely content with staying at a lower level, and what’s needed. Some want to stay local and are happy to teach the youth, to pave the way for the generation ahead.
Path 2: Those side games aren’t enough. The passion takes over, and now you want to elevate and take the escalator to go as far as you can. You want to be the best you can be; but in order to get fewer games, that are higher quality, and more money, you still have to go through the gamut of doing as many. Games. As. Possible.
“I work like a slave to become a master.” – Big Daddy Kane
There’s no way around this. You may get somewhere faster, you may have opportunities that aren’t presented to others, but being ready for those opportunities, or to get there faster, is to put your head down, get dirty, and work. No. Way. Around.
A wise man who told me on an unreleased podcast was the importance of this notion – of working. I’m paraphrasing, but he talks about the games that are before you; no matter what sport, what level, at the end of the day you are getting paid. Barring any volunteer situations, no matter if your getting paid $20 or $20,000, you should do your best because it’s a job. It’s your job.
That should be gravy added on to the entree – the fact that we can do what we love to do, and have some money in our pockets. It’s up to us how far we want to go, but the work is always necessary to get as far as you want. Now, get to it.
“I love to work; we don’t approach things like we’re good – we approach things like we’re going to work, and we’re going to work hard. You’re going to get good. If you work that hard you’re going to be great.” – Lil’ Wayne
This concludes the Rules. I know it took a while, bear with us. We will be releasing the last 11, in a book, shortly.
Until then, until tomorrow.