It’s my hope that the approach I’m about to share with you will spread throughout the basketball world. Why? Because at all levels of play there is growing discontent with the way the sport is being officiated. However, I challenge each and every one of you to consider treating referees like your grandma! That’s right, treat them the same way you’d treat your grandmother.
Officials have the thankless job of maintaining the integrity of the game; something that is very important. Yet, the sport community of players, fans, and coaches are not acting in ways that I would consider ‘championship-like’.
Here are some key things to remember about officials:
- FOR PLAYERS: Referees are human, and it pays to treat them that way. They make mistakes just like you and I do. Learn their names. Chase loose basketballs, so they aren’t forced to get them. Thank them after the game.
- FOR COACHES: Dick DeVenzio wrote a chapter in his book, Running the Show, titled ‘Spend 5 Percent Maximum Talking to Referees (And 95 Percent Talking to Your Players).‘ He raises a great point and this point serves as an awesome reminder for all coaches.
- FOR ALL: They will not change the call! Too often in life we put a focus on things that are out of our control. Move on to the next play and put your energy there, as fans, coaches, and players.
Think about the way you act around your grandma. You wouldn’t call her names or tell her how wrong she is constantly. Would you? Instead, you’d treat her with respect, smile often around her, and thank her for her effort.
If I had to make an educated guess, one of the best gift-givers in the world is and/or was your grandma. Maybe it’s time you start treating officials like G-ma, and you’ll be surprised with the gifts you receive from them as well.
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