Not My Finest Moment!


Not My Finest Moment!

 The atmosphere last night was electric, the evening air was crisp, and the lights on the field were still warming up as the sun left an incredible trail of color as it escaped the sky for the day. Their fans sat to our right, we sat to the left. I perched myself in the middle of our group. 
Darren’s mom sat with us because he used to play for us and transferred schools from Heritage Christian to Bishop Chatard this past year. His mother reminded me over and again that I was responsible for his taking up this horrific sport. 
I’ll take the credit; he’s a great lacrosse player. I had coached these boys and their brothers from when they were just beginning to play. Now I get to see them play in high school venues. 
Having coached for years and also being certified to officiate boy’s lacrosse, I understand the rules quite well. Rules are for player safety first, and not parental enjoyment. 
At last night’s match, I was awful to the officials. Never with degrading or foul language. I questioned too many calls. I would not have liked me either. 
After one of our kids took two punches to the head seemingly unprovoked and both players got thrown out, the officials had certainly lost control of the game. 
In the middle of the third quarter, my son Jonathan (JP) had the ball near the sidelines. From 15 to 20 yards away, a defender “targeted” JP and sent him flying three lanes deep into the track that circled the field. I screamed toward the official, “He was targeted!” The official turned to me and threw a flag and sent me packing to beyond the boundaries of the hallowed ground. 
While not my finest moment, you can always find something good in everything. After I was thrown out, our boys on the field called their own huddle and throughout the entire fourth quarter said to each other, “Let’s win this one for Mr. Pinyot!” 
Of course, we came from two goals behind to tie and then went ahead with two minutes left, and, of course, JP scored the goal. They tied it back with 25 seconds to go. They won the ensuing faceoff, raced toward our goal and took a shot. 
Grant made an incredible save and cleared to Kyle at midfield and a quick timeout with 7.7 seconds left. JP took the inbound, faked left and laced a perfect pass to one of our attack players, Evan, who proceeded to score the game winner as time expired. A storybook ending!
I embarrassed my wife, our school and our coaches, who had had the wherewithal to keep calm when I didn’t. Victory for them. I learned my lesson to keep my mouth shut, or modified shut, at future games. 
One lesson I learned from this experience is the power of control, good or bad. The officials allowed young testosterone-enhanced 15-year-old boys to take control of the game and take it to a bad place. They refused to correct the situation. 
 After I was ejected, all I could see were yellow flags flying everywhere, an attempt to regain control from the rogue boys. The officials finally calmed the game down and kept it in check the rest of the way. 
Some say that it’s just a stupid game; I say it isn’t. I say life lessons are learned in every experience. When in a business situation in front of customers, all you have to draw from are past experiences. 
If you can mentally pull from a reservoir of challenging situations that you were able to turn the tide and overcome, the smart business person will not cower from a situation, but will rise up from it hopefully in victory, or at least a well-fought defeat. 
I would personally never step on a field without the goal of winning the game. That being said, I wouldn’t have victory on a score board as my only measure of winning. I don’t need to have a scoreboard win to enjoy; I just need to know that I gave it my all-out best. 
Victory really should be redefined as giving it everything you have, holding your head high because you held nothing back. 
Last night was not my proudest moment. I could have claimed victory in holding my tongue and better respecting the officials who were doing the best they could. Upon the wise counsel of a trusted friend, I apologized to the official, we shook hands, and he was perfectly fine. He appreciated my passion. 
I don’t care what business you are in. Understand that having control is vital to business health just as it was to the health of our young athletes. 
If you have lost control, you should risk getting thrown out in an effort to regain it. Who knows, maybe the staff you left behind at the office might even win one for you!
When not in adult timeout, Jeff Pinyot is President of ECO Parking Lights/ECO Lighting Solutions. He can be reached for comment at (317) 501-2892 or at
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