Camps are an important part of officials development. As you begin to look at camps for the upcoming offseason, two of my mentors shared the most insightful things I’ve heard about camps.
IT’S BETTER TO GET THERE A YEAR LATE THAN A YEAR EARLY.
Not reaching your goals in a timely fashion can be discouraging in many ways. Particularly if you’ve invested a lot of time and energy, not getting picked up at a camp, or seeing your schedule for the upcoming season. Not being at the level you want can be a discouraging way to begin the upcoming season. However, getting to the level you want to get to before you are truly ready can be just as DAMAGING. First impressions matter, and while there is always going to be a learning curve involved with moving up, being unprepared can stall or derail your career. Getting to the next level may seem like the most important thing right now, but staying at that level or moving to the next level beyond that is just as important. Spending a year or two at the D3 college level working a few games may seem glamorous now, but you’ll soon find yourself wanting more games, better games, or to move up to the D2 level. Not being prepared for the speed or pace of play, being unfamiliar with rules, mechanics or expectations, or being out of shape can cause good careers to stall. So if you aren’t fortunate enough to move up the ladder this season, remember that the door isn’t closed forever; it may just be a blessing.
“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” – Henry David Thoreau
AND TWICE TO GET PICKED UP.
Moving up, particularly to the college level, may require using rules and mechanics you are unfamiliar with. Maybe the association you currently work for isn’t great about giving honest feedback, or any feedback at all. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, the higher the level of basketball, the more officiating becomes a meritocracy. Assignors aren’t going pass over good officials, and if they see potential in an official, they’ll be honest about what it will take to get you to the point of working on their staff. As nice as it would be to get picked up on your first try at a camp, for most of us, we should view that first tryout camp as an OPPORTUNITY to get noticed. Don’t limit this to the on-court stuff either. At the highest levels, taking care of business off the court is equally as important. Camps can be a good opportunity to learn what is expected at the next level in terms of communication, availability, professionalism, among other expectations. Most tryout camps employ a staff to give feedback and evaluate officials. Getting in front of the assignor may seem like the most important thing, but everyone on staff is there for a reason. Other staff members most likely have more time for you to pick their brain, or provide in depth feedback. View your first trip to camp as an opportunity to network, learn and come back fully prepared to be picked up the next season.
“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.”
ANOTHER POST, TOMORROW.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
– Martin Luther King