Le Clinician c’est moi

It was rather interesting being  a teacher rather than a camper last week.  To be honest, at first I was rather uneasy about it, but I realized that this was a normal feeling.  I likened it to my first few days of any new level of school, or the first few days of any job or my teaching career.  It’s natural to feel like an impostor.  This was compounded by the fact several officials of my ability/level (and some who are a little ahead of me) elected to be campers this year.  Some joked about me:  “You changed shirts!”  But I was very honest with them:  I just said that I had no idea why our assignor asked me to evaluate, but he did, and here I am.  That brought some smiles and laughs and, I think, made it far easier to communicate.  But, just in case, I tried to focus my attention on officials with less experience and at a lower level than I am…and to let the higher-ups (including a big-conference NCAA dude who just came off a Tournament second-round assignment) take care of those of a similar experience/ability level to me.  I know that, if I had paid for the camp, I’d prefer it that way.

I did notice one thing:  the better the official, the more they listened.  I mean, they’d ask questions and seek out explanations and all.  But I grew tired of one guy who kept trying to finish my sentences for me.  Other clinicians were just as frustrated as I was, so I decided to make this guy my own project, mostly to leave the other clinicians to focus on bigger fish to fry.  I wound up saying to this person:  “I don’t care if you forget everything else you learn this weekend…I want you to stop watching the ball ALL THE TIME. 

Three games later, he  made an off-ball call.

Maybe it’s not the ref-camp equivalent of Jaime Escalante or Mr. Holland or Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society.  But it’s something.

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About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

2 Responses to Le Clinician c’est moi

  1. Paul Hamann says:

    By the way, Mr. Holland’s Opus is a bottom-ten all-time movie for me…unwatchable, manipulative, and, in fact, quite offensive in at least three ways I can think of off the top of my head. I have no idea why I included it above, but I’m far too lazy to edit it out.

  2. MassRef says:

    I agree about Mr. Holland’s Opus. (I wish it had been great b/c my music teacher for part of high school actually was Mr. Holland.)

    Oh, and congrats on being asked to observe. After a terrific post-season, seems like you’re moving in the right direction!

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