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Old Tue Feb 02, 2010, 10:37pm
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Dealing with Coaches

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Old Tue Feb 02, 2010, 10:47pm
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I'm 22 here and in similar shoes. For the first part, I'm sure others will give you great advice, but in general, to make game management easy, it's pretty simple: respond to questions, ignore statements, warn (once) and whack.

If a coach is just whining, either ignore him or kindly let him know that you will only respond to his questions. After these parameters are set, coaches will get the hang of you being down to business and that you won't let them walk over you. They will find the happy medium of which to approach you.

Concerning less experienced partners, I think first, have a good pregame to know how you will handle things like these. If either of you is having trouble managing the game, talk during a TO or intermission and make sure each other is aware of and issues and any warnings. Besides that, only bite off what you can chew: there's not much reason to go meddling in your partner's dealings with the coaches, unless it becomes clearly unsporting where it needs a T.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2010, 10:57pm
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In your situation, it sounds like a T was a good call. Don't look back. The best thing you can do is just take care of business. Be ready to ignore comments, answer questions, and punish unsporting behavior. Be ready to do all of them without regret.

At this stage, just simply deal with your own communication skills. Don't worry about your partner, he can (or should be able to) take care of himself.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2010, 11:04pm
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Im 18 and in my 2nd year. I have had some technicals (as any other official) on coaches and players. You just have to have a confidence and strong presence. I had one that tried to pull the "I know your young and ....." but you just have to tell them "dont go there, thats enough" and put up the hand and be stern. But always be respectful to them no matter how fussy they get. Once you warn them if they dont hear it then WHACK them, a warning is not a warning if you keep giving warnings. I do try though to give a little room and calm the coach down as much as possible, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

As to the other official, like Seltser said have a good pregame. If you have that it shouldn't be too bad, but you can never help another official with themselves. Do your thing and let him do his, but you are still a team.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2010, 11:17pm
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22 and first year myself.

I honestly haven't gotten the feeling that coaches look down on me because of my age. I try to act as professionally as I can when I'm on the court, so maybe it's working.

Most of the coaches I've dealt with this year (mostly freshman and some sophomore), though, can't be much older than me though.

Just try your best to act like a vet on the court and the coach will get the message.
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Old Tue Feb 02, 2010, 11:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDurham View Post
Im 18 and in my 2nd year. I have had some technicals (as any other official) on coaches and players. You just have to have a confidence and strong presence. I had one that tried to pull the "I know your young and ....." but you just have to tell them "dont go there, thats enough" and put up the hand and be stern. But always be respectful to them no matter how fussy they get. Once you warn them if they dont hear it then WHACK them, a warning is not a warning if you keep giving warnings. I do try though to give a little room and calm the coach down as much as possible, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

As to the other official, like Seltser said have a good pregame. If you have that it shouldn't be too bad, but you can never help another official with themselves. Do your thing and let him do his, but you are still a team.
Question, how well has putting the hand up worked for you? IOW, how often do you have to issue a T when you use it?

I ask because I can't imagine it working that well, especially with an official whom the coach sees as young. But I'm open to being wrong on this.

My further advice is to speak to coaches like adults, with respect.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 12:37am
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Twenty-two here and in my second year doing high school basketball. I do the full gauntlet from 7th grade middle school games to varsity. I haven't really had an issue of coaches looking down on me or trying to pick on me due to age. That's not to say a coach hasn't tried. If you handle yourself well out there and do things professionally, I've found coaches will treat you like any other.

As others have said, answer appropriate questions and ignore comments. When those comments start to be prolonged, profane, and/or personal, warn the coach (some will suggest using the stop sign; I'm not one to use it, but see what works for you) and tell your partner(s) of said warning. If coach has been warned, you have to follow through if coach crosses the line. Sometimes though, coach will cross the line before you can give him a warning, and you just have to give a T. Nothing necessarily wrong with that.

Have you tried asking members, of similar age, in your association about their experiences with coaches? I know when I started out, I asked all the questions I could with all the veterans in my association, but I especially reached out to the younger varsity officials to get their insight and see how they handled themselves.

Last edited by APG; Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 06:16am.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 01:31am
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You'll get better with age

To the original question, I think there might be some truth to a coach treating you different because of your youth, because maybe he thinks he can rattle and influence you. But on the other hand, your youth may hinder your own self-confidence now vs. when you reach your upper twenties and thirties. In my early 20s, I was barely starting to deal with the stress of mortgages, layoffs at work, and other pressures. Everything seemed bigger than it really was. As I aged, I developed a thicker skin and now the way a coach treats me is much easier to deal with. You can't underestimate experience, which will come.

Stay strong in your game and maintain control of yourself. Use confident mechanics. Keep your cool in a heated situation. Minimize your reactions when you can, but T if you must. If you give the coach the perception that he can't phase you, even at your age, he'll back off (and try to find a different way to influence you). In any case, it is almost never personal (I never say never). Best of luck.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 07:36am
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Communciating With Coaches ...

General Techniques:
Statements by coaches don’t normally need a response. Answer questions, not statements.
Let the coach ask their question first, before speaking. Be a responder, not an initiator.
Most coaches will have questions when they believe the officials have missed an obvious call.
Having the officials in closer proximity often calms down the coach.
Be in control and speak in calm, easy tones. Be aware of your body language; maintain positive and confident
body language.
Make eye contact with the coach when the situation allows.
Do not try to answer a question from an out of control coach; deal with the behavior first.
If you’ve missed a call or made a mistake; admit it. This technique can only be used sparingly, perhaps
once a game.
Don’t bluff your way through a call.
Do not ignore a coach.

Specific Communication Examples:

Coach sees the play very differently than the official:
“Coach, if that’s the way it happened/what you saw, then I must have missed it. I’ll take a closer look next
time.”
“Coach, I understand what you’re saying, however, on that play I didn’t see it that way. I’ll keep an eye for it
on both ends.”
“Coach, I had a good look at that play and here’s what I saw (short explanation).”
“Coach, I understand what you’re saying, but my angle was different than yours.”
“Coach, I had a great look at that play, but I understand your question and I’ll have the crew keep an eye on it.”
“Coach, I had that play all the way and made the call.”

Coach believes you’re missing persistent illegal acts by the other team:
“OK coach, we’ll watch for that.”
“Coach, we are watching for that on both ends of the court.”

Coach is questioning a partner’s call:
“Coach, that’s a good call, as a crew we have to make that call.”
“We’re calling it on both ends.”
“Coach, he/she was right there and had a great angle.”
“Coach, we’re not going there, I can’t let you criticize my partner.”
“Coach, he/she had a great look, but if you have a specific question, you’ll have to ask him/her, he/she’ll be
over here in just a minute.”

Coach is very animated and gesturing:
“Coach, I’m going to talk with you and answer your questions, but you must put your arms down/stop the
gesturing.”
“Coach, please put your arms down. Now, what’s your question?”

Coach is raising their voice asking the question:
“Coach, I can hear you. I’m standing right here, you don’t need to raise your voice.”
"Coach, I need you to stop raising your voice and just ask your question calmly.”

Coach is commenting on something every time down the floor:
“Coach, I need you to pick your spots, we can’t have a comment on every single call that is being made.”
"Coach, I can't have you officiating this game."
"Coach, I understand you're not going to agree with all of our calls, but I can't have you question every
single one."
"Coach, if you have a question, I'll answer if I have a chance, but we aren't going to have these constant
comments."

Coach has a good point and might be right.
“You’ve got a good point and might be right about that play.”
“You might be right, that’s one we’ll talk about at halftime/intermission/the next time out.”
“You might be right; I may not have had the best angle on that play.”

Coach is venting, make editorial comments:
“I hear what you’re saying”
“I hear what you’re saying, but we’re moving on.”

Coach just won’t let it go:
“I’ve heard enough and that’s your warning.”

Original Source: Topeka (Kansas) Officials Association
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 07:47am
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Some coaches will always look for an angle to work the officials. You're young or you're old, you're overweight or too scrawny, you're a woman, you haven't been doing this as long as I have, you look funny, that's some haircut, whatever.

Officiating is a management task, and you don't control the behavior of those you manage. All you can do is react properly to whatever they do. Sometimes that means ignoring it, sometimes penalizing it, sometimes just talking. Reacting properly is key.

What you control is your own behavior. Bad coach behavior is never about you (they just met you, or in any case rarely know you), it's about them. Even if you make a mistake, remember that you're human and your mistakes don't license anyone's bad behavior. Don't take it personally, just deal with it when it happens.

Work hard to improve in every respect: rules, mechanics, game management. The first two are easier than the third, which results from wide and thoughtful experience and takes time.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 08:00am
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Some coaches, BTW, are just jerks. Once you accept that and just deal with the bad behavior, you'll be better off.

Last night I was working a local legend in his own mind. This guy works officials beginning to end, and I was the one in his lap when he had a 20+point lead with 2 seconds left and one of his players hit a little floater that had a little bump with 2 seconds left. I passed on it the same way I would've passed on that little contact and he really gives it to me:

"AND ONE. That's a foul! Don't stop working now!"

And on and on as the horn sounds. And I'm laughing as I run off the court.

And let me be quite clear -- because of this kind of crap, I have absolutely zero respect for him even though he's probably got 30 years and multiple state titles. If I saw him broken down on the highway, I'd probably wave as I drove past. But I can't let that affect me on the court. And the problem is his, not mine.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 08:30am
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Sometimes coaches will try and intimidate an official they believe does not have a lot of experience. Don't get angry and frustrated. Sounds like you did a good job. If he is walking towards you, and I am assuming he was not in coaching box, then a T is warranted and justified. He should know the rules. By showing that you too know the rules and are willing to administer them - he will hopefully show you more respect and reign in his attempts to influence/intimidate you. If not - he can always go to the locker room.

As previously stated - speak to coaches with respect as a professional. Hold yourself to a high standard and others will learn to respect you regardless of your age.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 12:10pm
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Having been an official, and now a coach, I want to know that I am heard. What I mean by that, If i ask a question, I just want an answer. I do not talk much to the officials to begin with. But I have noticed here in our area, our newer officials are being taught to ignore coaches. I think this is going down a bad road. We have all seen the coaches that act up and not punished.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 12:33pm
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When I was younger I was much quicker with my T's and didnt really chat with coaches. Now I have no problem talking with them but I have a line and I treat them all the same. I don't take any crap from coaches and/or players. On the other hand I will have a civil discussion when applicable with anyone (HC, AC, players).

The thing with my early Ts when I was a whippersnapper is that I have heard rumblings when coaches who dont know me start to yap, but parents and kids do, and they say "Don't try that with him, he don't deal with BS"

Ive heard that on a few occassions and it brings a smile to my face.
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Old Wed Feb 03, 2010, 12:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Having been an official, and now a coach, I want to know that I am heard. What I mean by that, If i ask a question, I just want an answer. I do not talk much to the officials to begin with. But I have noticed here in our area, our newer officials are being taught to ignore coaches. I think this is going down a bad road. We have all seen the coaches that act up and not punished.
I can speak from experience that newer officials are better off NOt talking a lot to coaches. Until they get comfortable dealing with the game on the court the side bars do a couple things. First they distract them as they are not yet adept to managing many things on the fly. Secondly Their fuses are either lighting quick or non existent. either way these are 2 extremes that do not help in building coach/official relations.

I think it takes at least 2-3 years for an official to be able to comfortably talk with coaches/players and just be themselves. I can say the hardest thing when I started was while there was action a coach was on me complaining/questioning what just happened. Now I can have a lengthy conversation with both coach, while officiating and sipping a frappucino.
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