Whether it be when I was a player, coach, fan, or referee… the time leading up to the actual game, I was (and still am) a nervous wreck.
In my head, I actually go through ALL of the scenarios that could happen … where I'll be officiating, who my partner is, do I have the right shoes, etc. etc…. trying to make sure that I'm totally ready for anything that might come up.
Then, the game begins, and it seems like all of that nervous energy goes away immediately. It's such a neat feeling, because I know that a lot of us go through these same emotions when we're thrust into a sometimes uncomfortable position.
Recently, I had those same exact emotions for a seminar that I presented for some undergraduate students who are going to be teachers.
Granted, it was for about 3 hours, and the students really wanted to be there (on a Saturday morning, too!)… so I just knew that it was going to go well. I had that feeling, but you never know until you get there.
Thankfully, in both of these situations… there's one common denominator for success:
Preparation. (Don't leave home without it).
That's right… for every game that I was a part of in my career, I looked at the stats of our opponent, combed through every combination that could happen to us, and made sure that we were as ready as we could be for that night.
I still do all of that as a referee in our pre-game meeting with my partner… and it helps calm the nerves tremendously.
In that recent seminar, I was lucky enough to even bring my daughter Emma, along with me to have her help as necessary. It was such a neat feeling to be able to discuss with her the night before the seminar what I was thinking in regards to the order of events … and what I wanted us to accomplish with our goals, the actual setup of the room, etc.
At one point in the presentation, SHE knew what I needed next, BEFORE I even knew… and had it already in her hands, with a smile on her face as she handed me those papers.
That was pretty special.
I gave her a little wink as I took the papers.
Not only was I teaching these future educators, but I was also teaching my own daughter some of these skills that it's taken me years to develop.
How do YOU handle that nervous energy?
Leave a comment below, and let me know… maybe I'll try it out the next time I have a game, or even a seminar. I'm already nervous just thinking about it.
I don't think Emma is, though.