LOOK THEM IN THE EYE!

As this new season approaches make it a goal to become more comfortable with talking to coaches, especially when you know they are agitated.

Here is where to start. When you make a call and you immediately know that the coach is going to be at odds with it, maybe because you could hear him right after you put air the whistle or maybe you could see him jump up and down in your periphery, or maybe because you know you kicked it, determine to look him/her right in the eye as you make your way to the table.

I am not advocating a stare down here. Just a strong, momentary eye contact as you approach the reporting area. This eye contact communicates several things to the coach. Number one, it communicates to him or her that you are not afraid of them and that you are confident in your abilities and probably cannot be intimidated.

It also tells them that you know whether or not they are in their coaching box or not. If they are not, your eyes can go from their eyes to the coaching box with a little head tilt and then back to their eyes. You may be surprised how this little technique will get them to step back into their box immediately.

After you make eye contact with a coach that is standing there with his/her arms up in the air in total disbelief at how you could have made that call, say to them, “I’ll be with you in a second.” Then report the foul to the table, send your trail to the other side of the court, look the coach in the eye and say, ‘What ya got for me coach?”

Let’s say the coach responds with “How could that be a charge?”

Don”t answer the question.

Instead ask your own question.

He or she who asks the question is in control of the conversation! And you want to be in control.

“What did the defense do wrong, coach?”

He was moving!

Doesn’t the rule book specifically say that defenders can move to maintain a legal guarding position?

As we know you only have a very short time to conduct this discussion before the ball is going the other way and you will have to leave.

So to sum up this approach:

Look them in the eye.

Don’t ignore them.

Acknowledge them.

What do they have for you?

Deflect them to where you want to go by asking a quick question.

Let them respond

“I hear you coach.”

Give them the last word.

And get out of there.

There is a link below to a little video clip where I believe a lead official kicks a call on a blocked shot. It looks to me like the ball handler who is driving the baseline is behind the backboard and has too jump into the defender in order to get a shot off. The ball handler in fact uses his off arm to fend off the defender. The defender appears to me to go straight up and knocks the ball out of bounds.

My guess is the official was focusing on the offensive player and not on the defender.

This is a easy call for an experienced official. Rule a good block on the shot and give the ball back to Team A for the throw in. It is a win-win! Team A doesn’t get any free throws, but they do get the ball back on the end line for a throw-in. Team B doesn’t get called for a foul, Team A doesn’t get any foul shots and Team B can now defend the throw in.

What is important on this clip is how the calling official just completely ignores the coach. No acknowledgment, no eye contact, no discussion, just more frustration on the part of the coach.

He missed the opportunity to say to the coach. “That was a tough play coach.” “Could have gone either direction. Maybe i kicked it!”

Don’t ignore them.

Acknowledge them.

Look them in the eye!

As this new season approaches make it a goal to become more comfortable with talking to coaches, especially when you know they are agitated.

Here is where to start. When you make a call and you immediately know that the coach is going to be at odds with it, maybe because you could hear him right after you sounded the whistle or maybe you could see him jump up and down in your periphery, or maybe because you know you kicked it, determine to look him/her right in the eye as you make your way to the table.

I am not advocating a stare down here. Just a strong, momentary eye contact as you approach the reporting area. This eye contact communicates several things to the coach. Number one, it communicates to him or her that you are not afraid of them and that you are confident in your abilities and probably cannot be intimidated.

It also tells them that you know whether or not they are in their coaching box or not. If they are not, your eyes can go from their eyes to the coaching box with a little head tilt and then back to their eyes. You may be surprised how this little technique will get them to step back into their box immediately.

After you make eye contact with a coach that is standing there with his/her arms up in the air in total disbelief at how you could have made that call, say to them, “I’ll be with you in a second.” Then report the foul to the table, send your trail to the other side of the court, look the coach in the eye and say, ‘What ya got for me coach?”

Let’s say the coach responds with “How could that be a charge?”

Don”t answer the question.

Instead ask your own question.

He/she who asks the question is in control of the conversation!

“What did the defense do wrong, coach?”

He was moving!

Doesn’t the rule book specifically say that defenders can move to maintain a legal guarding position?

As we know you only have a very short time to conduct this discussion before the ball is going the other way and you will have to leave.

So try this approach.

Look them in the eye.

Don’t ignore them.

Acknowledge them.

What do they have for you?

Deflect them to where you want to go by asking a quick question.

“I hear you coach.”

And give them the last word.

And get out of there.

There is a link below to a little video clip where I believe a lead official kicks a call on a blocked shot. It looks to me like the ball handler who is driving the baseline is behind the backboard and has too jump into the defender in order to get a shot off. The ball handler in fact uses his off arm to fend off the defender. The defender appears to me to go straight up and knocks the ball out of bounds.

My guess is the official was focusing on the offensive player and not on the defender.

This is a easy call for an experienced official. Rule a good block on the shot and give the ball back to Team A for the throw in. It is a win-win! Team A doesn’t get any free throws, but they do get the ball back on the end line for a throw-in. Team B doesn’t get called for a foul, Team A doesn’t get any foul shots and Team B can now defend the throw in.

What is important on this clip is how the calling official just completely ignores the coach. No acknowledgment, no eye contact, no discussion, just more frustration on the part of the coach.

Look them in the eye!

As this new season approaches make it a goal to become more comfortable with talking to coaches, especially when you know they are agitated.

Here is where to start. When you make a call and you immediately know that the coach is going to be at odds with it, maybe because you could hear him right after you sounded the whistle or maybe you could see him jump up and down in your periphery, or maybe because you know you kicked it, determine to look him/her right in the eye as you make your way to the table.

I am not advocating a stare down here. Just a strong, momentary eye contact as you approach the reporting area. This eye contact communicates several things to the coach. Number one, it communicates to him or her that you are not afraid of them and that you are confident in your abilities and probably cannot be intimidated.

It also tells them that you know whether or not they are in their coaching box or not. If they are not, your eyes can go from their eyes to the coaching box with a little head tilt and then back to their eyes. You may be surprised how this little technique will get them to step back into their box immediately.

After you make eye contact with a coach that is standing there with his/her arms up in the air in total disbelief at how you could have made that call, say to them, “I’ll be with you in a second.” Then report the foul to the table, send your trail to the other side of the court, look the coach in the eye and say, ‘What ya got for me coach?”

Let’s say the coach responds with “How could that be a charge?”

Don”t answer the question.

Instead ask your own question.

He/she who asks the question is in control of the conversation!

“What did the defense do wrong, coach?”

He was moving!

Doesn’t the rule book specifically say that defenders can move to maintain a legal guarding position?

As we know you only have a very short time to conduct this discussion before the ball is going the other way and you will have to leave.

So try this approach.

Look them in the eye.

Don’t ignore them.

Acknowledge them.

What do they have for you?

Deflect them to where you want to go by asking a quick question.

“I hear you coach.”

And give them the last word.

And get out of there.

There is a link below to a little video clip where I believe a lead official kicks a call on a blocked shot. It looks to me like the ball handler who is driving the baseline is behind the backboard and has too jump into the defender in order to get a shot off. The ball handler in fact uses his off arm to fend off the defender. The defender appears to me to go straight up and knocks the ball out of bounds.

My guess is the official was focusing on the offensive player and not on the defender.

This is a easy call for an experienced official. Rule a good block on the shot and give the ball back to Team A for the throw in. It is a win-win! Team A doesn’t get any free throws, but they do get the ball back on the end line for a throw-in. Team B doesn’t get called for a foul, Team A doesn’t get any foul shots and Team B can now defend the throw in.

What is important on this clip is how the calling official just completely ignores the coach. No acknowledgment, no eye contact, no discussion, just more frustration on the part of the coach.

Look them in the eye!

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