Setting Goals and Advancement

By Todd Von Sossan

It does not matter if you are a 1st year official or a 20 + year veteran official. It does not matter if you have never worked a postseason tournament game or have worked more tournament games than you can count. Each season we should set a new goal. Both short term and long term goals. Goals are not defined by the level you are currently working. If you are working at the junior varsity level, work to become the best junior varsity official you can possibly be. The first goal should always be to be a better official in tonight’s game than I was in the previous game I officiated. What will happen is with pure hard work, commitment and dedication to the craft of officiating, people will notice. A coach may say, you know “Bob” has become a really good official, he works hard during the game and if I ask him a question, he will give me an answer, I would take “Bob” on any of my games. Or, a fellow official will say, you know I worked with “Bob” last night and he is a good official. He really cares about the game and officiating, I would work with him on any game. When enough people start talking about you in a positive tone, you are going to advance. You didn’t start the season with the goal in mind that you wanted coaches and fellow officials to talk positively about your officiating. It was a direct result of having a short term goal of being a better official in tonight’s game than you were in the previous game. Hard work, commitment and dedication.

Be a better official in tonight’s game than you were in the previous game, how do I put that into practice? Simply learn from your mistakes. We learn and retain a lot more from the mistakes we make than when we do something correct. You should be able to reflect on the game you officiated and determine the calls, plays or situations you handled well and the ones you could have handled better. If you don’t know how to handle those situations better, call a few veteran officials and run the game situation past them, with their knowledge and experience they should be able to give you a few suggestions on how to handle a particular call, play, or game situation better the next time it occurs. By eliminating or reducing mistakes our competence level will rise. Not only will others expect more from you, you will expect more from yourself. That is elevating your game as an official. Elevate your game, elevate the level you officiate at.