Kevin Bell

Play To The Ref's In Your Life

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Playing sports in high school, we had a saying to “play to the ref.”

The game remained the same. Our strategy didn’t change, nor did the plays we’d run. Our preparation wasn’t altered or adjusted, but come game day, there was always one outstanding variable that we’d find out once the game started; how the ref operated.

How strict were they on calling penalties? How attentive were they to what was going on? Who did they favor (be it a specific player or a team)? How much patience did they have? Were they in a good mood?

All of these were things that we’d look for. Even though it shouldn’t really matter in a game based on your performance… it shouldn’t, but it does.

And it does outside of sports as well.

In real life, you’re going to come in contact with “refs” of all kinds. Except they’re not called refs. They’re called failures, goals, desires, success, dreams, passions, obstacles.

The key here is to not think of them as negative. They’re not. Refs are there to test you. To push you. To challenge you. And it’s up to you on how you decide to play.

Are you kind player that stays in their lane, leaves no shadow of a doubt that you’re abiding by every single regulation? Or are you a player that rides the line?

Do you stop running when your toe went out of bounds or do you keep running until someone tries to tackle you?

When you get hit and you’re NOT taken all the way down, do you call it quits or do you pop back up and keep going?

Do you stop a couple seconds before the buzzer or do you take the shot regardless of how much time you have left?

I’m not saying play dirty. That’s not the same. I’m saying to play to the ref. Ride the line. Challenge the status quo. Push back. Ignore the noise and play until the bitter end. Stop ONLY when you have to, and never consider yourself down and out. You might be down, but when your head is in the game, you’ll NEVER be out.