Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Be the duck

Have you ever watched a duck cross a pond? Looks pretty effortless, just seemingly calmly gliding across the water without a care in the world. We look across and sigh in satisfaction that all is at peace with the world. Calm, serene, relaxed. Look under the water however and it is a different story. Cranking, churning, hard working webbed feet are pounding away at the water getting away from that raccoon that just tried to eat it. Not so serene.

So what is the difference here?

One answer is fairly simple in that it is a matter of perception. If we see the calm, gliding duck we have a very relaxed feeling, the viewer feels relaxed by watching the duck glide by. If we turn the duck upside down (or look under the water), it is a whole different story. Frantic thrashing, splashing, chaos, and general discontent.

Think about refereeing, and how people (players, assessors, coaches, fans) will react when they watch you referee. Are you one who brings a feeling of serenity and calmness to a situation, or match. Are you one who raises the tempo or stirs things up? Trust me, as an assessor, I am looking at that.

Don't get me wrong, there is no one right answer, and the best do both, and other variations of temperament in between. There is a time for frenetic conduct, anger, comedy, sarcasm, and the host of other emotions that comprise the human experience. All I'm saying is to learn when to bring those out, and how to wrap the match in a sense of calm confidence is a very successful way to approach and conduct a match. Look at some of the best referees today (I'll let you pick), their calm, measured approach goes a long, long way. Particularly in the more difficult situations.

My thought ... be the duck.

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