Professionals and experts are of great value no matter what field they work in. They are always in demand and greatly needed. They thoroughly know their job and do it perfectly. Professionals are well-educated people. Such people are required in sport as well. It is a delight to watch professional players, coaches and referees. To see players perform, coaches direct their actions and referees control the course of the game. One gets real pleasure from the very process of the game, uncompromising struggle, high speed on the court, players’ high class technique and stunts.
In a conversation with a friend of mine, who is a businessman and an ardent fan of basketball, I noted that sport and other spheres have a lot in common in respect of the professional approach to work. Principles, methods, approaches and means are roughly the same and transparent. If you observe, listen and stick to them and have desire and disposition to your profession, you can become a professional in your field. The main thing is hard work and zeal.
The businessman noticed that many are talking of professionals, but they cannot become professionals themselves, because their entire career and life are permeated by jealousy, inflated self-esteem, laziness, conflicts, while a person lacks inner content and has no desire to work. There is a shell, some average knowledge of work, but not more than that. Such instances are present both in sports and in basketball.
He told me how hard it was to start a business, about competition and present difficulties, but with a true desire and goal one can work and achieve results. He also shared that his friendly nickname was «Reshaka» (“the one who solves” – author’s remark). It fits him and he likes it. Everything is expressed in one word. He can do everything in his business, EVERYTHING! He is a professional.
I asked for clarification. He explained: “I know everything that relates to my work. I began my career as a simple worker but I had a furious desire to make my way in the world, to get an education, earn money, prestige and respect in the workplace. Now I can do everything and I have everything. Such words as “I don’t want”, “I can’t”, “I won’t manage” do not exist for me. Tasks that I set for my employees are quite feasible and I require accurate execution. I always encourage and reward motivated employees who exhibit more desire to work. They are valuable for me as head of a business because they keep it going. I’m sure, that, to achieve a goal and grow in any business, you need to set a goal on the verge of impossible because only then, in order to solve the problem and achieve the goal, your internal resources and reserves of the body open up.”
We then narrowed down our conversation to the subject of basketball and discussed the current state of teams and players. And referees, of course. The businessman was surprised at how difficult and demanding was the work of referees, and, as we concluded, how similar in some respects it was to doing business.
— How can you act calmly, keep yourself in hands, when spectators, overfilled with emotions, literally roar? I, myself, often cry out loud, and sometimes even at referees! — said my companion.
— Just as you, we prepare for every game, for everything that might happen on the court. This is the specificity of our job to manage emotions of players and coaches, control the playing process. Only in our case the time and the place are limited, and the speed and emotions are maximized. In that short period of time we have to show all our skill and most importantly not spoil the game that you have come to watch. Sometimes it really is difficult. But this is what the skill and professionalism of referees consist of!
It is oftentimes that we work on the verge of our emotional capabilities when we stop rudeness, fighting, foul plays and aggression on the court. We have to confront psychological pressure of players, coaches and spectators. On the outside, we need to be absolutely calm, everybody has to be sure that everything is under control.
It requires a lot of practice and experience, as in any sphere, to become a demanded professional. We also set goals and tasks for every playing season. Our performance on the court only lasts 1,5–2 hours, but getting ready for a game takes much more time, that is why the profession of referee is quite specific and subjective. Even a great desire to be a referee, having no inclinations to such work and necessary qualities, does not always give the chance to become one.
At the end of our conversation we agreed that people who have too high self-esteem, jealousy and unwillingness to work never achieve great results. They blame anybody but themselves, find a lot of problems without seeing the main problem that is THEMSELVES. Only constant work, education and willingness to work make us PROFESSIONAL.