Improving Others!

ON THE TUNNEYSIDE OF SPORTS February 16, 2015 # 528 Up next…Improving others!

After further review…”Catch people doing something right” is one of the messages I use with organizations interested in building a better T*E*A*M. As a parent, teacher, coach, school administrator and NFL referee, I learned that the best way to help others achieve is to build their confidence.  As an example, if you are witnessing your youngster lacking confidence in his/her sport, you might offer encouragement by saying, “I really enjoy watching you play”.

Everyone one wants to do his/her best. No one intentionally performs badly. Yet when we don’t measure up to our (or others) expectations, we need helpful guidance and encouragement to improve. Super Bowl XLIX was a good example of teams giving their best. Although the final moments of the game resulted in criticism of one coach and team in the final moments of that game, no one involved in real time game decisions intentionally makes the wrong call. We’ll let fans take it from here.

Let’s remember there are three teams in any football game. Mistakes made by anyone of those three can affect the outcome. The NFL officiating crew in Super Bowl XLIX headed by Referee Bill Vinovich performed to the highest expected standards. The two teams decided that game, and that’s the way all games are expected to be played.

It is often said that the best officiated games are those in which the officials were “hardly noticed”. When the game is over the only question concerning the officiating should be: “Who were those guys?” Minimally noticed, but having impact. When the officials do their job as expected, their impact is that the integrity of the game is held to its highest standard.

Every NFL crew strives to perform at its very best level, every week. NFL officials recognize that the “stars” of the game are the players and coaches. They’re the ones the fans come to see. However, it’s important to note that the game of football (or any athletic contest) could not function without proper game control. That’s what we saw in the Super Bowl, and Vinovich’s crew can’t escape this positive assessment.

Will you strive to help others improve by “catching them doing something right”?

To contact Jim go to or email

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