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  • Writer's pictureacoachsdiary

Mamba Mondays | T'D Up


I have always had a love/hate relationship. I need them to call fouls and control the game, but I don't need them calling too many fouls on me or my team.


I tell my athletes and parents to never forget that referees are people with human feelings and human emotions. My strategy is to never work for the last call but to always work for the next call. When a referee makes a call that goes against our team and we yell at them or argue with them, will that help or hurt our team get a call when it really matters?

That is something to think about any time you engage a referee.


Also, it is important to know that every referee sees the game and calls the game differently. Some will let you be more physical, and some call games much tighter. Some don't mind talking to players and coaches, and some are more ready to give talkative players and coaches technical fouls quicker than others.


But learning how to manage and work with referees effectively is an important skill to learn and master.


The great Kobe Bryant said that he used to get his fair share of technical fouls. Still, he had a great relationship with a majority of referees. That's due in large part to the mutual respect they had for one another. He made sure to talk with them and build a dialogue and rapport with them. That way, if he talked back or pointed something out, it often held weight with them.


Kobe also said that referees have a difficult job. They are not just responsible for observing and moderating the action in from of them at a fast pace, but they are also responsible for controlling the emotions of the gym.


To gain an edge, Kobe made a point of reading the referee's handbook. One of the rules he gleaned from it was that each referee has a designated slot where he is supposed to be on the floor, creating dead zones, or areas on the floor where they can't see certain things. He learned where they were and took advantage of them.


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