Okay people, if you want to officiate football, or any other sport as the matter goes, you have to be open to criticism.  It’s easy to say, yes I know, I want criticism; but I’m taking about negative feed-back, negative criticism, and sometimes, a good ol’ trip out to the wood shed.  Hey, we all think we are better than we are but seriously, you are going to get beat up from time to time.  You need to have skin thicker than Britney Spears’ makeup.  Seriously, you really don’t understand what I’m saying until you experience it.  When I received my first taste of solid criticism I wanted to push back, tell them they were wrong, and make a point.  Fortunately I had some great mentors I turned to in order to vent.  They let me vent, took my side for a while, then slowly, and ever so gently molded me into a person who welcomed criticism and who learned that this criticism was meant to make me a better official.  I was not as good as I thought, and yes, those who reviewed and graded me were there to make my officiating experience better and perhaps move me up.  When you begin officiating, occasionally, you may get the praise you want to hear and occasionally you will be told you are good, but if you are that guy that needs that in order to survive, ba bye.  There is so much truth to that Bud Light commercial where the official is getting verbally beat “like a rented mule” by a coach and then they show his wife doing it to him at home.  Well, get ready for it.  If you know it’s going to happen going in, and you put your ego away and LEARN, you will one day be a great official and enjoy the experience so much better.

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