Few if any coaches, players or spectators watch officials during a live ball sequence. During live ball. everyone is watching the players and the play at hand.
So when are fans, players, and coaches most likely to look at officials? They watch them during dead ball activity. They watch their foul call signal. They watch officials report fouls. They also are acutely aware of officials when they perform game management tasks like administering free throws or when putting the ball at a throw’s disposal for a throw-in or beckoning in substitutes.
Whether spectators, coaches, and players develop confidence or mistrust in officials can often be traced back to how they perceive the official during dead ball tasks. It is imperative that officials look competent, poised and comfortable during dead ball administrative activity. It is during this time that all involved get the feeling of experience and confidence in the officials working their game.
Little things like how an official delivers the ball to the free thrower or how substitutes are beckoned on to the floor can make a difference in the perception of the officials by onlookers. If the officials look smooth, comfortable and knowledgeable in what he/she does during administrative procedures the chances of coaches and spectators getting a more positive outlook of the officials becomes greater.
Another key dead ball period that spectators may watch officials is when he/she communicates with a coach that may be agitated. If the coach is approached in a calm, poised, and non-threatening manner that officials gives off vibes of experience and confidence.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing some administrative task experiment with different ways to approach the task until you find one that is effective and one that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin.
In the clip below the official beckons in subs, gets the thrower to the designated spot then backs off and delivers the ball in an athletic manner, counts the five-seconds and chops the clock. All this is done in a smooth, poised and effective manner that breeds a feeling of confidence.