When I referee a basketball game, it's actually totally different than teaching a classroom full of elementary students. Blowing that whistle, someone is going to be mad at me... not at me, really, but at what they did to cause me to blow my whistle.
I can't stop the game and say, "All right, now you go and step aside, I'll be with you in a minute" like I would in my classroom. I just blow the whistle, make the call (get yelled at by someone in the stands or on the bench) and move on. It really doesn't bother me, because I know that I'm being firm, but fair by making the correct call at the time.
And that's what one guy said to me the other night after a game that I was refereeing at. He made his way over to us, and stopped me before we could leave for the dressing room (because that's what we are trained to do... get out of there... QUICK!)
But what he said next resonated with me. He said "I've been watching you for a few games now, and you call an excellent game. You keep the kids under control, and I just wanted to tell you 'thanks' for what you do."
Wow, you could have pushed me over with a feather I was in so much shock. Now granted, I know that it's not just me, but my partner and I are a team out there. I take a lot of pride knowing that we always have an excellent pre-game meeting, communicate efficiently throughout the game, and try to work together as much as possible. Hmmmm.... kind of sounds like something I've been telling you all along now.
So, looking back, maybe refereeing IS a lot like teaching, and a guy in the stands just needed to remind me of that.
Thank you very much ... nice man in the stands.
No... not YOU man that is still shouting at me in the parking lot... you might need to just "step aside" for a little bit.