Last week, we took some time to evaluate where we are in our officiating life, now it’s time to look ahead and set some goals to improve our game over the next year.

Control What You Can Control

This is a mantra that I keep coming back to, year in and year out. There are things that are just out of our control, and we can have little to no effect on these outside factors. If we try to, we are going to expend a lot of energy to gain very little. Something happens every year that makes me stop and think, “Do I have any control over that?” Instead, it is important to focus on the things that we can control. The returns we get out of focusing on what we CAN control are going to be much higher and will probably lead to greater enjoyment of our advocation.

Setting Goals

After taking an honest look at last season, and keeping in mind what we have control over and what we don’t have control over, it’s time to start thinking about what we want the end of the season to look like for ourselves. When we are setting goals, it is important to take into account these 5 key points of goal setting – SMART.

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measureable
  • A – Achievable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Timely

I am going to use a simple example of a goal. Let’s say I determined that I didn’t like the way I looked on video – need to drop a few pounds and add some muscle. Let’s start writing a goal.

A Specific Goal

Making your goal specific means that you have to narrow it down and make it very clear. It also means that to make it specific, you must actually write it down! An unwritten goal is not a goal. If my goal is to lose weight, great, how much? Be specific. My goal is to lose 20 pounds.

A Measurable Goal

My goal must be measurable. Loosing weight is easily measurable. I am going to lose 20 pounds, as measured by the scale in my bathroom. That’s easy. Some goals are easier to measure than others. If you want to improve your mechanics, that is going to be a little more subjective than losing weight, but is it still measurable? Sure, you can set a goal that you will practice mechanics in front of a mirror for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Can you measure that?

A Relevant and Achievable Goal

Is it relevant to set a goal that you will make it to the state finals this year? This would fall in the category of controlling what you can control. You can set yourself up to be an official that will be successful in the state finals, but your goal can’t be defined on something you can’t make happen. Your goal needs to be relevant to what you can make happen. Is it achievable that I am going to lose 150 pounds in the next 3 months? I am going to add “x” number of pounds to my bench press? Make sure that you goal is both relevant and achievable.

A Timely Goal

To help decide if it is achievable, you need to know what your time restraints are. Can you make a noticeable difference in your mechanics in the course of a few days? Or, can you make a noticeable difference over the course of the entire season? Your expectations of what can be accomplished is going to be defined by the time limits that are in place. It is also important to set a time requirement to a goal so that it doesn’t go on forever.

Whatever your goal is for the season, follow these guidelines to help you craft a goal that is SMART! And remember, a goal that isn’t written down isn’t a goal. Use this worksheet to help write your goals!