Basketball can be very frustrating. You do not get to experience success all the time. The game wherein you are struggling to play in is the most annoying part, especially when you get calls. Believe it or not, I have gone through this one. I guess any player or coach who has undergone this situation can relate to this. You get so tired of getting your rhythm back in the game, and you feel that you are not doing anything right at all. When you try to exert the effort, you get a call. That is really upsetting for any player and coach. Situations like this can drive the player to be unkind to referees. They get mad at referees to the point of talking inappropriate words to them.

However, you must consider that referees are people too. They make mistakes just like anybody else. Or perhaps, they just do not like you enough that you feel that they are terribly and poorly officiating the game. However, referees can also be a factor for you to drop your chance of winning ball games. But it should not be enough to yell and embarrass them in front of the public. If you take a look at it to a closer analysis, you are making a fool out of yourself. You are the one who is trying to embarrass yourself by talking harsh words to the referees.

1. Remain to be calm
Sometimes, we can’t deny the fact that the officiating might be biased so, once you have recognized that the officiating is not correct, call a time out. The time out serves a dual purpose. Get your team together and listen to their concerns, and then let them relax and cool down. Refresh the minds of the players, and help them focus back on the game.

This is very important to remain calm until the game is over. Strong mental setting helps players think well enough. Being calm can direct the team effectively regardless of the terrible officiating of the game. A word of encouragement promotes calmness and boosts team motivation and deters frustrations.

2. Recognize the problem
Players are very keen, attentive and probably even recognize the problem. It makes them more vulnerable in bad situations and has the tendency to break, if let miss guided. Youths are compulsive, and have the tendency to get frustrated when cornered. Make sure you do not allow them to blame the officiating for problems on the court. This can lead to a negative mind state for the whole team. Use this as a teachable moment about adversity, and not find excuses for mishappenings. Let your players know that you are there to help them. Not to mention, it is very important to teach today’s young people on how to respect authority. It also teaches players not to blame others and to be held accountable to their actions.

3. Treat referees with Respect
They are called officials in the game because they have the authority to maintain a nice and clean playing environment. Do not blame them for your shortcomings. If you have questions on certain calls, approach them with respect. You cannot win an argument if you treat them harshly.

Players see the way coaches treat the referees, and coaches should be the one to teach their players to respect others, and learn to communicate without arguing and yelling uncontrollably. Referees are humans also and they like to be treated fairly with respect. Talk to them and ask your questions in a non-aggressive tone in order convey your concerns in a most responsible and mature way.

Referees will also respect you by the way you are dealing with them. In addition, it is also a good idea to learn their first names, so you can effectively address them during the games. The chances of them responding or listening increases if they see that they get recognized.

Abusing and shouting at the referees may harm your team a number of ways: First, it reflects your coaching bad. When you focus on justices of appeal, meaning you do not focus on your team, that also means that you are missing moments for your players. Second, you cannot have answers on calls. Once you need to question a call there is a tendency that they will not listen to your appeal. This can cost you the game. Third, some calls might be done against you if you constantly harass referees. Some referees will start making calls against you deliberately. Fourth, terrible team play: players often imitate their coach’s ways. If you shout bad words to referees, your players will almost certainly do the same thing. This will result in your players to come on the wrong side of the judges. Even when they accuse officials rather than take responsibility for poor play, this can lead to negative mental state for the whole team.

4. Question a call in an assertive, but non-aggressive manner.
If you can still talk to the referee during breaks, take the opportunity to discreetly give him your concerns. If you have any questions to certain calls, referees are more likely to listen to criticism. Observe the referees’ body language and mode. If he does not care about what you are saying, stop the communication. If you shout and scream all the time, you might find yourself get kicked out off the game.

5. Serve as a role model
With influence and power comes great responsibility. Coaches have to accept and take this into consideration. I invite you to think very seriously about the example they give their players. Remember that players are a reflection of their coaches. Effectively treat a difficult situation as it sends a message of self-control and discipline to the team. Players, especially young ones, can often mimic the action of the head of the team. Players will tend to follow your ways, therefore you must serve as a good role model to your players.

Even if referees are poorly officiating the game, it is still the coach’s task to ensure that his players are always on top of their game. A strong coach can be able to express respect and patience as guiding principles towards success.

“Act immediately.” Better to live with a decision than linger with indecision. And for all we know, the Cowboys might already have made their decision. Just haven’t said. – Parcells

[info_box]Picture credit: JMRosenfeldCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]
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