For college basketball fans, this is a great time of the year!

March Madness has arrived!

I officiated Div. I men’s college basketball for 25 years and retired in 2015. While I had the opportunity to work post-season tournaments, I was never assigned a March Madness game. It would have been a great experience, but I am still happy with my refereeing career.

I enjoy watching as many of the games as possible, especially because I get to see the other guys I worked with for many years.

The Game Plan

While driving our daughter to dance practice, I was listening to an interview by one of the coaches who was preparing his team for a first-round game.

He was asked the following question: “Coach, what does your week look like as you get ready to face the #2 seed?”

The coach responded, “You know, we have a routine to follow, and it’s something we’ve done the whole year. We’ll get to Des Moines the day before the game, and we have our on-court practices and videos sessions already scheduled. We know our mealtimes, and the boys know when it’s time to get to bed.”

The coach concluded by saying, “Mike, it’s the same old boring good habits.”

Boring Good Habits

If you think about it, there’s a powerful message here. The coach was low-key about how his team prepares, but I’ve known many head coaches over the years, and I’m aware how much work goes into preparing the teams for upcoming games.

Even though the team is getting ready for a big time March Madness game, the head coach is not changing much.


The reason here is because they already have the success model in place, and it works. The system of practicing good habits is in place, and there’s no need to introduce anything remarkable at this point.

The message is to keep doing what is yielding positive results.


Over the years, I’ve learned to apply some of these old boring good habits every day, such as the following:

• I hit my home gym daily, even when I am tired. I do change the routine here and there, but it’s in the same gym and roughly at the same time.

• I schedule a daily check-in time with my team to cover the work for the day. There are times when this call takes just a few minutes, but we’ve been on a Zoom conference for more than an hour when it is warranted. This habit relates to paying attention to detail.

• Throughout the day, I read a few articles on different subjects so that I am up-to-speed with what’s happening around me. There are times when I watch short YouTube videos related to my discipline. I learned this habit from a friend who shared with me the importance of seeking new knowledge even if it comes from another industry.

In recent years, I’ve adopted a new habit that brings great value to my life. I take a little time each day to appreciate the good things the Lord has provided in my life.

This reflection alone reminds me to be happy with what I have and less concerned about what is beyond my reach.