May 18, 2019 – NEW YORK, NY – Without saying, officials must be astute on the field in their officiating duties. Being physically and mentally tough allows them to be more efficient and sustain a long, fruitful career. Nevertheless, being progressive in those areas are not enough. To be a NFL official, it requires some discipline that does not require any talent at all.
“Control only what you can control. That’s the only thing you can do,” voiced NFL vice president of officiating evaluation and development Wayne Mackie.
During one of the meetings with the candidates of the Officiating Development Program (ODP) at the 2019 NFL Officiating Mini-Clinic, Mackie detailed the importance of being a professional. The tension in the conference was high as the ODPs held on Mackie’s words as if their lives depended on them.
Mackie, along with NFL head of officiating recruiting and scouting, David Wyant, detailed to the 42 ODPs instructions and told tales of situations they will experience on the field. Among the 42 ODPs, 39 are from the collegiate ranks and three are from the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Clearly, these candidates caught the attention of the Shield’s officiating scouting group due to their skill set on the field. Nevertheless, their off the field actions are just as critical.
“Act like a professional, don’t do anything to draw attention to yourselves,” said Mackie. “Be respectful. It’s not what you do, it’s what they (the public) talk about. Doing the little things get you into the league.”
Mackie was underscoring to the OPDs that in order to be a NFL Caretaker, areas in their lives that requires “no talent” are more than half the battle. The charismatic Mackie, he factored 10 things that require no talent to master in order to be ushered into the NFL officiating family.
- Be on time (although being early is more ideal)
- Work ethic
- Body Language
- Be Coachable
- Doing Extra
- Be Prepared
Mackie was also clear about how being a part of the ODP does not necessarily make them a NFL official. There is a process to abide by, and they all embrace it. And each year when a candidate continues to be selected it is a great sign that they are close in accomplishing their ultimate dream.