Professional development for a voluntary hobby activity seemed a bit strange to me when initially suggested. We train extensively and regularly in surf life saving, so why should it be different for swimming officiating?
Sorry I can’t save your life because I’m only a volunteer!
Our surf life saving training paid off in spades a few years ago when my patrol was able to successfully resuscitate a swimmer in cardiac arrest. Athletes are committed (and unpaid), and the same is true of many Officials.
The lack of a salary is irrelevant when committing to be the best that you can be.
Another trip to Homebush
And so on Wednesday 20th March I joined fellow officials from Swimming, along with others from AFL, Archery, Basketball, BMX, Equestrian and Triathlon. Together we participated in a fantastic High Performing Officials workshop at the NSW Government Office of Sport.
International Cricket Umpire, Simon Taufel, was the facilitator of an extremely powerful and interactive session. Program Coordinator, Simon Woinarski, arranged and managed the event with pleasant efficiency.
Never judge a workshop by its title
“Goal Setting for Great Outcomes” is unlikely to rank as great social media click-bait! Yet it acted as a launchpad into a deep and fundamental analysis of strengths, development opportunities, motivations and deliberately planned actions.
Growth comes from development opportunities so 80% of the focus should be here. Broad statements about “gain more experience” were focussed down into specific objectives… “employ diffusing language to improve management of angry people”.
Use the right process and the outcome takes care of itself
Process is everything we learned – “focus on the process of the goal”. We spend so long performing that we need to have processes to ensure the desired outcomes.
We don’t get what we want, we get what we deserve.
Use feedback and self-assessment, followed by goals, planning and preparation. Set goals one event at a time. Many short term goals achieved will lead to ultimate success with a long term goal.
Understand WHY you officiate and the priority in your life. Publicly sharing your goals builds personal accountability and encourages others to support. Start doing and FIND A WAY!
A rather large penny dropped for me – I officiate to leave a legacy – by leaving the sport in a better position than when I found it. (I’m surprised that it was such a surprise to me…. witness this website, the Swim.Rocks podcast, online training for technical officials, etc…).
Climbing the officiating pyramid builds capability, experience and credibility; but by itself is not satisfying, and at times may conflict with my ‘why’.
This fundamental conclusion leaves me with some work to change my previously written goals and re-write my plan.
What about you?
The reason that you started in swimming is almost certainly NOT why you continue.
I have one ask please, before you go to bed tonight, please be very honest with yourself about why you contribute. Once you know this, what is your goal for next time you’re on pool deck?
Thank you to Simon Taufel and the NSW Office of Sport for making this possible.