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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 10:39am
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I can't take them anymore. The coaches.I work the Frosh/JV circuit. I am working on my coach management skills and it is coming along pretty well . I am talking to them , explaining things like not all contact is a foul.I said this to a coach last night and he looked at me like I had discovered a cure for cancer. We are into the conference schedule now and I would have thought he would have figured this out by now. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

I am starting to see the coaches with disdain and basically for alot of them I have lost all respect. All this character building stuff, being a role model seems to me to be baloney.These coaches are THE WORST role models in the world. Screaming, crying, sniveling, lack of preparation,lack of self control, lack of perspective, no basic knowledge of the rules and then they emulate the coaches on tv (NBA). And blaming others, the officials, for why they lost.

So I am hoping this is just a phase in my growth as an official and I will get through this. Any suggestions on what type of attitudes I can start cultivating so I don't see these people as they really are ? Rant and rave off.

As always suggestions and feedback are Needed and welcomed....

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 11:12am
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I think the problem we have with many sub – Varsity coaches is the overwhelming desire to win, with no regard to teaching the game. They should be teaching the kids the rules instead they are trying to circumvent the rules. Managing these coaches’ temperament and personalities is one of the most difficult parts of officiating. It is something that will come with time. You almost have to be a diplomat and a dictator. On one side you want to communicate with them explain your call (diplomatically), at the same time letting them know that your ruling is final. I think you learn by watching veteran Officials and not taking anything a coach has to say personally even if it is a complement.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 11:22am
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Lightbulb

Chess Ref,
  • Make a list of why you enjoy officiating.
  • Cut back on your number of games.
  • Know that some lower level coaches need more guidance with respect to rules and decorum, as do lower level players.
  • Smile more and try to refrain from rolling your eyes when they are speaking.
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      #4 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 11:24am
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by Chess Ref
    I can't take them anymore. The coaches.

    Screaming, crying, sniveling, lack of preparation,lack of self control, lack of perspective, no basic knowledge of the rules

    As always suggestions and feedback are Needed and welcomed....
    Welcome to the world of officiating. And you thought it would be easy money and instant gratification, right?

    I think it's safe to say we've all been there. Now, I'm just speaking from personal experience, but one the growing phases I had to get through was having enough confidence in my abilities to take control of the game, and not let the coaches and players control it by their actions. You don't have to be a hard-a$$, but you do have to show you're in control of the game. I certainly understand the unwillingness to "rock the boat" by calling T's. However, that's part of becoming a better official. If you know you're getting (most) of the calls on the floor right, then now you need to start handling the other aspects. If coaches are actually "screaming, crying, and showing a lack of self-control", then they need to be penalized. You mentioned your coach management skills - do they include the stop sign and T? I've discovered that coaches do what you allow them to do; if you let them whine and snivel, that's what they will continue to do. If you step in and let them know whining and sniveling won't be tolerated, and follow through, it will cease to happen.

    Coach management isn't always just talking to them whenever they say something to you. It's learning when to talk to them, when to ignore them, and when to penalize them. Keep working at it; you'll find things get a little easier as you let them get away with less.

    And, btw, congrats on finding that cure for cancer.
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      #5 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 12:50pm
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    Chess --

    I'm writing a series on this subject for the paid side, but I"ll just give a little summary.

    First and foremost, get your own attitude under control. It can be the most difficult part of the learning process, but nothing else happens until you take this step.

    1. Don't go in expecting a fight, but do be prepared for one. I mean, try to keep things civil, but don't despair if it doesn't work.

    2. Think of the coaches position -- he has no clue, and has 20 sets of parents nagging him. players who won't do what he tells them, pressure from the varsity coach to turn out better players, and no rewards to speak of except winning if he's lucky. When his players get good enough, they move up.

    3. It helped me to think of the coach as a 7-year-old. You've got to give clear limits, but in positive ways. Even when he gets testy, you've got to rise above it. Give him the time-out when he needs it, but don't get emotional.

    4. Don't "explain" anything. If the coach asks a reasonable question, answer it politely and briefly. Never, never quarrel. "Coach she pushed her in the back" "the travel came first" " it was an illegal screen, coach"

    5. Use these very safe and effective comments early on when the coach is chirping. "Thank you." "I'll wathc for it" "I hear you."

    6. Be very confident, and appear very confident, all the time. You might want to ask an evaluator to watch and see what you can do to make your appearance more calm and quiet. I've been amazed how a few little steps have helped tremendously in this area.

    7. Don't hesitate to warn, but don't be too quick, either.

    8. T when necessary. Resign yourself to going through a stage (emphasis on "through") when you give too many T's. It will feel icky in some ways, but it can be a valuable learning stage.

    9. Hang around with refs that have great coach relationships. Watch and listen. keep asking. Keep digesting.

    10. When all else fails, do what mick said and take off a few days. adjust your perspective that way.

    DOn't forget that coaches get better and worse the higher you get. You just have to keep putting new tools in your box, so that you can move up, too.







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      #6 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 12:58pm
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    Last night I lingered at a varsity game. I had the 2 previous JV games opening up District play in our area.

    I took the liberty of sitting at an empty chair at the scores table and had a chance to observe 2 very senior pro's (20+ years each) from our association and was right within ear shot of the Varsity coach and his 2 young assistants that we had worked with the two previous games.

    It was a great refresher.

    I was reminded that coach's will go to any extent to create favor. In the blink of an eye from celebrating to dispair. Making every call for the referee's their teams way. Swearing, cursing, cheering. What a roller coaster.

    My favorite event: Coach was bouncing up early in the game. Ref comes over in a break and gently, quietly says "Coach, new rule this year - you must stay in the box".

    Coach:"Box? What box? Where is the box?" Scans the floor.

    Ref: "Right here sir. These two lines". All very quiet - I was right under them and was probably the only person in the gym that heard the exchange. Well done.

    Next live ball coach is wandering again. Official blows whistle. Formal loud verbal warning from the top free throw circle (same official) - "Coach - Warning. You are to remain in the coach's box". He was lazer beamed eye to eye with the coach. Turned and went about his business administering free throws.

    I watched the coach and assistants the remainder of the game. They got the message and it was needed.

    Game management is equal to Coach management.




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      #7 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 01:01pm
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    Chess Ref,

    Juulie's list is a good summary - pay particular atttention to items 4, 5 & 6.

    You also might want to swing by your local Barnes & Noble and pick up a copy of "Verbal Judo" - some good techniques in there on how to deal with confrontational people.
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      #8 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 01:19pm
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    Seems to me that the basic misconception we have as officials is that we can "explain things" to a coach, or have a "good discussion" with a coach. While that can happen at times, the vast majority of the time, the coach doesn't want an explanation or a discussion, they just want us to make calls in their favor. Since we won't do that, there is an obvious conflict there...how many times have we had a coach ask one question, we answer it, and they immediately are off on some other tangent. They do not care what we say...they want us to call things in their favor.

    So my best advice is to not let what a coach says or does bother you. They aren't yelling at you, they're yelling at your uniform...if they cross the line, deal with them appropriately. Never get into an arguement - you will always lose. Answer any polite question politely. Take all comments - positive or negative - the same way (don't listen to them).
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      #9 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 01:25pm
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by rockyroad
    Seems to me that the basic misconception we have as officials is that we can "explain things" to a coach, or have a "good discussion" with a coach. While that can happen at times, the vast majority of the time, the coach doesn't want an explanation or a discussion, they just want us to make calls in their favor. Since we won't do that, there is an obvious conflict there...how many times have we had a coach ask one question, we answer it, and they immediately are off on some other tangent. They do not care what we say...they want us to call things in their favor.

    So my best advice is to not let what a coach says or does bother you. They aren't yelling at you, they're yelling at your uniform...if they cross the line, deal with them appropriately. Never get into an arguement - you will always lose. Answer any polite question politely. Take all comments - positive or negative - the same way (don't listen to them).
    Good point RR......example:
    Coach: "that's backcourt"
    Me: "no it's not, he jumped from frontcourt, caught the ball and threw it to #12"
    Coach: "but he still touched the ball"
    Me: "sigh"
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      #10 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 01:53pm
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    A good pregame can help. Some lower level coaches in our area complain that officials won't talk to them (granted, they probably aren't asking nicely). I pregame with coaches and captains at all levels even though some lower level officials skip it. The first thing I say is that sportsmanship is #1. If they want to ask a question, we'll be more than happy to answer. If they're complaining, throwing their hands up and such, we'll be forced to deal with it. I've had pretty good luck after that discussion. A lot of coaches are going to give you as much crap as you'll take. Let them know you have limits early and it might help in some cases.
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      #11 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 02:54pm
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    My High Expectations

    My thinking is not how I handle the coaches but more along the lines of they don't get it. I am alot better in handling the coaches, I have the procedure that leads to a T pretty much down.

    I am by nature/enviroment a cynical person. Not very often I believe in the best of people. The whole high school enviroment is one of those times that I believe in people. Silly me.. Really when did it become ok for adults to act like that-especially in public. My wife who went to private boarding schools and wasn't around high school sports till I started officiating is floored by how these "adults" act like 3 year olds. Are my expectations for adults to act like adults too high ? I am beginning to think so.

    I maybe just a little tired and doing my own whiny,sniveling thing. But common sense indicates that I shouldn't do it in front of people I am a "Role Model" for. And I would never act like that in a gym full of people.

    I compete in sports, tennis tourneys, also pool touneys etc. and I have never acted like that, EVER. I think I am a little dumbfounded by the adults that are around these kids.
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      #12 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 03:08pm
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    I worked a frosh/JV double header last night that I picked up, so I feel your pain.

    All I can say is that I feel no obligation to respond to comments, if they cross the line deal with it immediately and never warn twice.

    Always remain calm and speak with confidence and be concise.

    What I've found, and it helps me, is that most coaches and fans are clueless. Rarely does anything they say bother me, mostly it is a form of amusement. Plenty of times my partner and I have a good laugh during a game because of a coach.

    Take it in stride, keep it in perspective, and if all that fails just whack the next one.
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      #13 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 03:20pm
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    This is the very reason sub-varsity games can be the hardest to deal with as an official. Most of the time the least experienced officials are working games that are technically the hardest games to work.

    Chess, what you are experiencing is what many of us have to deal with. Usually varsity coaches are much more reserved and when they complain they do it in a way not to get a technical. If varsity coaches over-react, they will find themselves not being around very long. The problem with sub-varsity games they are dealing with officials that never punish them properly for their behavior. That is what happens at these games, you have to deal with coaches have little concept of boundaries (not different from children) of what is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable.

    What you should do is to continue to work hard and realize if you get better you will no longer have to work a lot of those games. I know folks like Z and other higher than mighty individuals will think this statement is out of line, but that is why many of us work hard so we can leave these games behind at some point. I personally still work the occasional lower level games, but I will not work a season worth for the very reason you are complaining about these coaches.

    If you do what you are supposed to you will laugh back at this time in your career and some of those coaches will be at the varsity levels with you. Then you will see that what they did at one point of their career and how they have had to change. I had a veteran tell me this a long time ago and it holds true. Coaches, players and even fans change every year, the officials are the only thing that is constant. If you hang in there and follow the advice that Mick gave you, this will all pass and you will better be prepared to deal with these clowns (I mean coaches) that think the world is going to crumble because one call they do not understand is missed.

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      #14 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 04:14pm
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    It's a game

    for the kids and fans to enjoy. The referee is there to ensure fair play. I have coached MUCH longer than I have reffed. The coach's shoes carry their own level of pressure, both internal and external (parents, administration, etc.). The bad behavior exhibited by coaches these days seems no worse than those who coached my teams in the late 70s. When I coached, the barbs I threw at refs were RARELY personal, fostered by the competitiveness of myself and the competitive nature of the game. Don't let over zealous coaches bother you. Remember, 1) you are being paid to keep control of the game; 2) it is only a game; 3) You have the power of "T" to reign in any loose-hair coaches and players. Go out, do your best, continue to improve your knowledge of the rules and game, and always keep a cold six-pack in your pickup to slam on the way home.

    [Edited by lmeadski on Jan 4th, 2006 at 04:16 PM]
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      #15 (permalink)  
    Old Wed Jan 04, 2006, 04:29pm
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    I know I've said this before on this board, but our job as officials is to 1)Protect the integrity of the game of basketball; 2)Protect the integrity of our crew; and 3)Protect the integrity of the participants...I really don't care what the coaches think or say, as long as it doesn't affect any of those three areas, there is no problem. If what they are saying/doing does affect one of those areas, deal with them. Never expect the coaches to have the same priorities as we do - they don't care about your integrity or the integrity of the game, they want to win.
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