Monday, 3 June 2013

April - June: Don't let 'stuff' get in the way.

Been a while as ever with writing the break has come from LOTS going on, we'll just stick with calling 'it' "Stuff". This post is more of a perspective share and exploration so bear with me, forgive any poor analogies.

- Moving, work, deadlines, relationships, friends, enemies, confidence, doubt, gossip, bills, fatigue, overload, family problems, applications, finances, tiredness, 'I really should wash my smelly pads', new wheel envy,  etc; etc....

I'm not saying the above are bad, but they most certainly can or will contribute 'load' to the limited supply of 'computing power'* you have while refereeing. Certain situations in life WILL arise and will have to take priority in your brain-space. (*By 'computing power' I mean your capacity, your mental availability to perform a specific task, affecting your ability to perform it well.)

Sport and reffing isn't easy

Doing things well require, to name a just a few key elements: attention, energy, awareness, focus, sensitivity (and much more).

There's always a supply of 'stuff' floating around, we all have lives, but as a referee, as someone who's 'job' it is to not be wrong, to be the line, to be calm, to be facilitating and patient.... Stuff can obscure your view of these qualities, making some unreachable for the time being.

This could also easily be true of playing. Your 'job' as a skating player is to stop opposing points, facilitating team points, supporting your team in fast, constantly changing situations and scenarios, to communicate clearly and quickly, to remain calm, keep safe, play cleanly and to skate well. More and more 'stuff' reduces your reach of these qualities measure by measure, piece by piece.

If you can't do it, is it worth doing it this week?
Is it worth leaving with a negative experience at the moment?
Could you do with the break to put your focus where it's needed to pick up the other stuff later?

Be honest with yourself. Know your limits and give yourself what you need to do the job well. If you can't because of external factors, get THOSE things done then come back to focus on the game etc. You'll be a better ref, skater, official, etc etc for it; knowing yourself allows you to be better used in your team.

Over the last few months, things had been building and I'd tried to keep doing it all of it still, when in reality and in hindsight, it was too much. My refereeing and in turn, my confidence and motivation suffered for it. Less time to prepare, less time to read, less time to explore the rules further, less time to train; resulting in a poor environment to perform.

Sometimes doing 'a good job' will require more than you've got in your 'brain-space'. Accept it, recognise those times and take the necessary time to say 'no' to training/practice/reffing or the 'stuff' if needs be; where do your priorities need to lay?

Giving yourself 'a break' will maintain a consistent flow of ability/performance rather than BIG fluctuations in performance. This is often seen in f a great week followed by a terrible one due to your "stuff". Up's and downs are natural but your actions and choices can and will play a crucial role in your own personal development in training, whether that's skating or reffing or tiddly-winks.

Reffing is something I want to do and something I enjoy. The challenge, the skating and the whole 'noble art' of balance, reflection, action, reaction, problem solving and professionalism.

You can't have and continue everything at all times and to do it well, you have to accept that.
You are limited, you are finite, you are or may struggling currently. See it and deal with the problem than "pushing through" and doing yourself, your crew or your team a disservice. They deserve you to be There; with them and not mentally elsewhere.

 When you have the chance and things slow down, then you can take the time to reassess why you do what you do and what environment do you need to be in to do it well, then create and/or facilitate it. That may just be the removal/completion or some of your "stuff".

In reflection, for my refereeing, in having the "Stuff" now out of the way and taking the time to reassess my wants and the game, I feel I've quickly regained the qualities needed for the role. I can now better maintain those qualities, facilitating good quality reffing, with "processing power" to boot in order to focus my 'spare' attention on improving, rather than not having the capacity to do so.

I'm asking questions, and inviting you into the discussion. What could you change? What needs to change for you to do your job better? Are you leaving with more positive than negative experiences? Be reflective and HAVE FUN, Sport is just a tool for your learning about who you are. :)

I'll leave you with a happy shiny ref pic from Sunday's training - Reffy happiness.

Gingerdread Man Out.