Managing Coaches And Players


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  • Body language and tone of voice is 90% of communication. Use simple words.
  • Hugging is not good. Most people cannot get away with this. Watch that you do not cross your arms, this is a negative communication sign. It shows you are shutting a person out, not listening.
  • Eyes can show everything, including conviction or lack thereof.
  • If a coach continues to make statements you need to manage the situation before it becomes persistent or out of control. Ex: “Coach, do you have a question.” “Coach, I can’t concentrate when you keep interrupting me. Can I help you.” “ Coach, could you please stop.” “Coach please put your arms down and I will talk to you.” “I can’t understand you, could you please stop yelling.”
  • You cannot win every fight, especially when the other person is emotionally biased and you are not. Two egos do not reduce friction. Give up your ego. Answer questions calmly. Ask coaches to restate their questions if you are not sure. Restate the situation to the coach to determine that you understand their question (Ex: “Correct me if you are wrong but I is this what you are asking?”) Ask questions of the person. Never tell them that they didn’t see what they think they saw!! You can tell them that you saw it differently from your angle! We all see things differently from different angles!
  • If a player/coach is emotional you must calm the player down first before you discuss the play. Ex: “When you settle down, we can discuss this.” “I can’t understand you. You need to calm down before anything happens.” “ Please stop gesturing, what is your question?” “I’ll come back later when we can have an adult conversation.”
  • If you give an ultimatum, you will need to follow up. Ex: “Another word and you’ll get a tech.” It is guaranteed that you will hear another word…is it worth a tech? Telling a coach they must sit down is asking for a fight. Telling them to “shut up” guarantees a quarrel. Remember that they are territorial and you cannot invade that territory…it is not worth it. By the way in FIBA it is the “team bench area” not the BOX!
  • “ I hear what you are saying coach and I am here to make sure things are fair for both sides.” “ Can you give me a number, who did it, was that during the last play?” “Do I understand this right, you are saying…….” (repeat question) Do not cross arms across chest as this is negative body language.
  • Don’t be the bad cop. Be the great facilitator. A smile will help more than a frown. Remember that this is just a game.
  • If a coach is gesturing. You need to ask them to stop before continuing the conversation. Keep your hand movements to a minimum. Ex: “Coach, could you please stop gesturing/waving your arms, I am right here listening to you.” If you are talking with your crew you need to try to do it without gestures, somebody is always watching and interpreting.
  • “ Coach, I am right here. No need to wave your arms. What’s up?”
  • No need to give an upset player the “skunk eye”. You have nine other players on the floor, two coaches and a partner(s) that you can concentrate upon. Don’t throw gas on a fire. If a player really wants to get to you, they will. Easiest T to give is to bait an upset player. Don’t make it you vs. the player. If you call a foul which has free throws you can ask the player to follow you to the T position and let them know they have 2 free throws to make their point but they have to “use their words”! No gestures. It is amazing how many players will follow you and it will already have part of the situation settled by the time you get across, plus it gives you time to collect your thoughts and settle yourself down.
  • People nearly always want to be heard out. You should not expect to get in the last word. Let people blow off steam. Players normally don’t lie. They have their reasons. They may be wrong but they feel they have legitimate reasons. Let the players/coaches know that your job is to make it fair and safe…..for both teams. Your job is to be a facilitator for a fair contest.
  • “ I hustled to a great position, way down there, and that is what I saw!” “ What did you see from your angle?” …this validates their thoughts but also validates that you could have a different look from a different angle. Agree that you may be seeing something different but do not tell a coach that they did not see what they claimed to see!
  • “ I’ll talk to the crew about this.” If you are in front of the bench and the coach is yelling/gesturing across the floor you need to manage this. (Ex: Your partner is killing us! What is he calling? That isn’t fair!) Ask the coach if they have a specific play or question you can bring up with the crew. Be a team. Tell the coach you will ask the crew at the next opportunity. After the discussion you can offer information to the coach the next time you are in the vicinity. Offer information only as you don’t need to get into a discussion again. A coach will appreciate this but most likely has forgotten.“The crew will discuss this at the next opportunity.”
  • The louder a coach/player talks the softer you should respond. Try it!
  • Managing Coaches And Players

    1. 3. Introduce Yourself To The Coaches Before The Game Begins Work On Creating A Rapport
    2. 4. When dealing with emotional coaches remember to: Be in control and speak in a calm, easy voice
    3. 5. Maintain positive body language and keep space between you and the Coach/Player
    4. 6. Make eye contact with the coach/player when the situation allows
    5. 7. Answer questions not Statements <ul><li>3 Seconds </li></ul><ul><li>That is a Travel </li></ul><ul><li>That is a Hold </li></ul>
    6. 8. Be a responder not an Initiator
    7. 9. Deal with the Behaviour before answering any Questions
    8. 10. Roadblocks to Communication <ul><li>Ordering </li></ul><ul><li>Directing </li></ul><ul><li>Commanding </li></ul><ul><li>Yelling </li></ul>
    9. 11. Roadblocks to Communication Warning, Threatening “ If you do that again I’ll T YOU UP ”
    10. 12. Tips to being a good listener <ul><li>Keep good Eye Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Try to be Relaxed </li></ul><ul><li>Do not Interrupt </li></ul>
    11. 13. A coach knows the tone of the response even before you start speaking by observing your body language . Sometimes we lose them before we even say a word .
    12. 14. If you make a face, raise your hands in defense or scowl, you’ve probably lost them already. Watch how you talk with your hands and don’t let a coach use his hands to talk to you.
    13. 15. When a person talks with his hands it appears there is more going on than a simple discussion about a simple play. If you see a coach waving his hands , simply ask him to put his hands down before you are ready to listen to his message.
    14. 16. <ul><li>Don’t be Defensive , or try to justify your Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Address the problem only (No emotions) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid the conflict ( Don’t create it ) </li></ul>Tips to being a Good Listener
    15. 17. Officiating is not about the referee being the only Winner………. Nor is it about the referee being the only Loser, A balance between the TWO Extremes needs to be Achieved You do not always have to get in the Last Word
    16. 18. Answers to Coaches <ul><li>“ Okay Coach I hear you” </li></ul><ul><li>“ From my angle that is how I saw it” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I will watch for that” </li></ul>It will not help matters if you tell the coach that it is not happening
    17. 19. <ul><li>Some Other Phrases That Can Be Used Are </li></ul><ul><li>“ I see your point” </li></ul><ul><li>“ You have a good point” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’ve heard you” </li></ul><ul><li>“ That’s possible” </li></ul>Answers to Coaches By listening first and then responding to what they said, there may be some closure after your words
    18. 20. Answers to Coaches If a coach is yelling or shouting at you tell the coach you would be glad to talk to him but he has to lower his or her voice and then you can address the issue.
    19. 21. Remember, 90% of conflict occurs not with what was said but by the TONE it was said in! DEALING WITH CONFRONTATION