Saturday, May 31, 2008

Camp Log Day One--A great day

Camping is going quite well here...the best camp I've ever been to.

The best thing about this camp is that we don't do games...we do halves. It makes for quicker evaluations, and I don't have to think way back to certain plays.

Additionally, the clinicians I've been with (mostly local guys at the top of our association) are not out to show how much they know, but are rather out to make us better. That's a critical difference, and I've been on the wrong end of that at a couple of camps. Case in point: A couple of guys were running alongside me, making suggestions as I went. It throws me off my game--I try to listen and try to ref, but wind up not doing either. But amazingly, a clinician came to my ear and asked the following:

"Do you like it when we talk to you during the game?"

I responded:

"I do not."

They agreed only to talk to me during dead balls for the rest of camp. AWESOME.

What I've learned:

--The varsity game I had last night was high quality. The two I had today were quite a bit lesser.

--There are really two things I'm working on: C positioning and "presentation skills."

As C, I have spent my officiating career standing on the sideline. I was told that's too far away. I don't feel comfortable stepping in when there are players on my side...I feel like I'm setting a pick for a three-point shooter, or feel like I'm losing sight of a player in the corner. I asked the clinician a LOT of questions.

Then I saw the tape. It didn't lie. I was often not even in the same time zone as the play.

As for presentation skills...well, the usual. Slouchy posture, loosey-goosey running style/mechanics, and--this is new--squinting.

In short, when I call a foul, I lean into the foul and squint. I also tend to get diarrhea of the mouth...saying loads of stuff I shouldn't say.

It's late...I'll analyze this more tomorrow...but I'm feeling pretty confident I can lick this simply by slowing down at the spot. When I blow the whistle, I need to spend a one-thousand-one count ensuring I have good posture and am not squinting. This will add to my credibility.

Oh--and I need a running coach. Do you know anyone?

More tomorrow. They're giving me three games (okay...halves) that are really strong matchups, with partners that are especially strong. On the whole, they liked what they saw today and want to see how I handle it. I'm highly confident I can handle anything they throw my way.

That's a sign of a great camp.


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