As the regular season wound down and transitioned into playoff games, naturally, it’s just different.
The higher seeds, that earned the right to home games in rounds earlier, found themselves in the uncomfortable confines of neutral sites. This poses different problems outside of basketball, but if you look between the lines and lane markers, it’s a new set of issues.
All season long basketball players far and wide in the state of New York have, for the most part, been playing in cramped gyms; small enclosed places where you can hear each and every spectator, and in the balance looming high the stakes, the fate of the great athletes that are on the court. Nonetheless, they were comfortable.
But changes of conditions, that is, things you can’t control, is what separates the good players from great. Thus the importance of ability.
Y’all ain’t ready to workout with the boy
Your flow is
I lift every voice when I sing
Make yours look like an exercise in futility – Jay-Z
When those enclosed gyms became sprawling college arenas in championship games, skills got defenestrated. Take one game I saw, as a spectator, and not an official. I was in the stands watching a team I officiated earlier in the season. When I did, they were lights-out, getting any shot they wanted. Fast forward to the championship game that they played for in which they earned – they were getting the same opportunities in
“Never a failure; always a lesson.” – Rihanna
Officiating is the same as the sport we service – Perhaps it’s a youth game and no one is really there. We present a product that’s dissimilar to a championship game we had the day before. Or maybe we constantly do games that don’t pose a challenge, and in the end, we are not ready for that challenging game. Then what?
“Through my education, I didn’t just develop skills, I didn’t just develop the ability to learn, but I developed confidence.” – Michelle Obama
Here are tenets to make sure that your ability shines each and every time:
OFF THE FIELD
CHAMPIONSHIP HABITS – It is important, that we state, Ad Infinitum no less, that championship habits must be instilled no matter if you are practicing, doing a recreational game, or a championship game. Bring your best stuff. Use it as an opportunity to work. To get better. It’s like studying for a big test the night before. Surely you won’t ace it as much as if you were studying the whole damn time.
“Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.”
– Brad Henry
VISUALIZE – It is a habit, come championship season, to attend many elimination games. For me as an official, it’s a checkpoint, a timeline, to make sure that I have improved in my skill. 4 years ago when I was watching a basketball championship game, surely I didn’t belong. Last year, I said I’m one step away. This is the first year that I attended and thought I was ready to officiate a championship game. It took time – but even though I STILL haven’t done one myself, I still visualize that I am there, making me more than ready when I am.
“If y’all can’t already see I ain’t worried about y’all cause I’m already me (already)” – Jay-Z
ON THE CLOCK
JUST. ANOTHER. GAME. – Those championship habits pay immediate dividends when they are instilled from beginning, middle, and end. You know that it doesn’t matter if you are in a cramped gym or Cameron Indoor Stadium. You don’t care if there is 1 person or 1 million in attendance. The calls are the same. The game is the same.
“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing,
but to turn it into glory.”
– William Barclay
STEP. BY. STEP. – Officiating games are
“Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it
– Abraham Lincoln