Sunday 2 September 2018

Having a Positive Attitude

Positive Attitude
Your attitude will have a direct impact on your performance. You can choose the attitude that you take into a match (or your everyday life).

Defining Attitude
Attitude is the 'state of mind with which you approach a situation or look at the world.'
It is part of what you bring to the match. It is demonstrated by how you act and react. It is how you feel and how you make others feel. It can be seen to be positive or negative. Attitude affects performance.

Your attitude that you take out onto the ground will have a significant impact on the quality of performance and certainly affect other people’s perception of your performance.
What is a positive mental attitude?
‘There is little difference between people, but the little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.’
Attitude is contagious. Would you like someone to catch yours?
Attitude is:
Internal - how we think and how we feel, our mindset. This is the voice inside that can send positive messages and reinforce positive behaviours or it can eat away at our confidence. This can be emotionally and physically draining.
External - the way we communicate this mind set to others. Our behaviour is the personification of our attitude.

Success! Which do you choose?
To a large extent we can determine the level of success we achieve by adopting characteristics that are associated with being successful. There is no guarantee that we will achieve our goals but at least with the right mind set we create the space in which we can give ourselves a chance to be successful. Successful people display the following

Success characteristics versus Limiting characteristics
1. expects a good performance 1. fears failure
2. positive attitude 2. negative attitude
3. optimistic outlook 3. pessimistic outlook
4. positive personal belief 4. negative personal belief
5. excellent people skills 5. poor people skills
6. seizes opportunity 6. procrastinates
7. sense of urgency 7. risk avoidance
8. proactive creator 8. reactive complainer
9. knowledgeable 9. uninformed
10. anticipates challenge 10. denies challenges
It may seem easy to choose the 'success characteristics' but it may be easier not to choose them!

Really Successful Attitudes
By incorporating these attitudes into our officiating personality and manner when we umpire we will be recognised as having a positive attitude. This positive attitude gives us the opportunity to be successful. For each of these, consider where you are at now and how you could make changes to officiating style.
warm helpful
enthusiastic engaging
confident laid back
supportive patient
relaxed welcoming
obliging cheery
curious interested
resourceful courageous
The Power of a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude helps you cope more easily with the events that occur during a match and makes it easier to avoid distractions and negative thinking. With a positive attitude you expect the best to happen.
A positive attitude gives you the strength to believe in your ability to be successful.
By choosing to adopt a positive attitude it provides the mental excuse to behave consistently. A person with a negative attitude is more likely to display less predictable behaviours. Other participants (players and captains in particular) in the match respect consistent and predictable behaviours.

Your attitude is your choice
Having a positive attitude can affect not just yourself but everybody around you as well.
People tend to trust those with a positive attitude. People will go to the person with the positive attitude because they have confidence in the person to make rational and reasonable decisions.
A positive attitude says you believe you can achieve success. A positive attitude is not a guarantee of success but is a pillar on which success can be achieved.
A positive attitude provides motivation to get through rough situations. There will be times in a match (and in life) when our knowledge, ability and credibility will be challenged. A positive attitude gives us many of the tools to remain confident that we are competent to do the job.

Attributes of a Successful Umpire
Umpires were surveyed to identify the attributes they believed were displayed by the elite level of umpires. These were the top 20.
How many of these are determined by your choice of attitude?
1. excellent knowledge (Laws etc)
2. strength of character
3. empathy
4. flexibility
5. happy
6. supportive
7. tells the truth
8. honest
9. eager
10. compassion
11. integrity
12. enthusiastic
13. reliable
14. fair
15. assertive
16. positive
17. forgiving
18. friendly
19. creative
20. loyal
It turns out that 18 of the 20 are your choice. You can choose to successful by having a positive attitude. These are a reflection of the attitude that you take into the match.

Consciously choosing a Positive Attitude
Each day we have the power to choose our attitude that we take into the day. Most of us tend to let our circumstances choose our attitude for us. We're in a good mood as long as we get up on time, the kids cooperate and get to school on time, the car starts without a problem, we don't encounter any traffic jams on the way to work, the boss doesn't yell, our workload is manageable, etc. This system can work fine as long as everything runs smoothly in our lives.
But that's not always the case, is it? Situations don't always adhere to our expectations. Accidents happen. Delays happen. Spouses and bosses can be difficult to please. Vehicles break down. Kids may resist our efforts to keep the schedule running smoothly. What happens to our attitude then? If we don't make the effort to consciously choose a positive attitude, we run the risk of developing a negative one at random.
How would our lives change if we consciously chose a positive attitude each day? For starters, we'd feel much happier about our lives. We'd feel more motivated about pursuing our dreams because we'd believe in the possibilities for making them a reality. We'd be able to enjoy the time spent with our friends and families more, because we'd want to share our joy with others.
We'd feel strong and empowered in our ability to do anything we set our minds to. We'd be able to overcome challenges with ease because we'd have a strong belief in our own skills and abilities. We would pause to enjoy the smaller, more precious moments in life, without feeling pressured to do more, be more, or prove our worthiness. Never forget to take to time to remember that the big world out there is not part of the negatives that we are feeling.
Simply choosing a positive attitude does not mean that our lives will proceed without 'speed humps' that will be placed in out path. Choosing a positive attitude will give us the attitude and skill set to cope with these hurdles. A positive attitude does not protect us from these events in our working environment.
Choosing a positive attitude is a process. We don't just choose it once and expect everything to be perfect from that moment on. We will still experience setbacks, delays, accidents, frustrations, arguments, fatigue, and fear. The secret is how we choose to react to these experiences. Do we want to let them ruin our day, or do we choose to pick ourselves up and look hopefully to the future again? We do have the power to choose.
By choosing a positive attitude each day, we are actually attracting more positive experiences, and reducing the likelihood of negative experiences. You may have noticed that each experience often determines the quality of the next experience, causing a chain reaction in our lives. If one little thing goes wrong, it can throw off our plans for the rest of the day. In this context, it's easy to see how a positive attitude would be powerful. Rather than allowing one little thing to ruin our day, we would be able to shrug it off and continue on without a hitch.
Over time, this resiliency begins to strengthen and empower us, which will show through in our demeanour. And it all begins with a little thing called attitude! Again, this is a process, so go easy on yourself if you're trying to adopt a more positive attitude. Simply focus on developing a stronger awareness of your attitude moment to moment in your daily experiences, and begin choosing a more positive one more often. It takes time to realize the full benefits of this type of mindset, but it is time well-spent.

Positive Affirmations
When events around us start to cloud our judgement and interfere with rational decision making it can be helpful to have a phrase that we can refer to that will affirm or ability or skill.
Below are some that may be of use:

How to display a Positive Attitude on the field
Choose to be:
- Positive - Set yourself to have a good day. Prepare well.
- Enthusiastic - This begins with the first contact you have at the ground.
- Responsive - Be prepared to have appropriate conversations
- Friendly - Remember we are there to enjoy the environment
- Quick with a smile - Meet and greet with a smile. Set the tone for the day.
- Courteous and professional - Present well both physically and in your manner
- Approachable and communicate at a personal level when appropriate
- Have a sense of humour and know when to impart it.
Having a positive attitude just makes us feel better and when we feel better we do better.
This is a comment from a captain during a recent match:
___________ was personable, and made the game enjoyable to be part of. Would be happy to have ____________ in the future."
This comment is a reflection of an umpire who chose to take a positive attitude into the match.
People tend to respect those with a positive attitude. Being positive says you believe you can perform even when under pressure.

Overcoming Setbacks
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life ... as by the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.’
During everyone's career there will be times when you think you have been hard done by. Maybe a match appointment that you were hoping for did not eventuate. There may have been a match in which you thought you performed well but only received criticism from the captain.
How you move on from this is largely a choice between being positive or negative. To persevere through adversity will be seen by those that judge you as being strength and when the opportunity does come along you will be more likely to succeed.
Believe in you ability.
Look for solutions and see an obstacle as an opportunity to grow.
Article courtesy of ICC and Barrie Rennie, Umpiring Coordinator of WACA, and the Western Australian Cricket Association for their kind permission to reproduce this document

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