After a preseason game before the season I drove home, musing about the things I could have answered in the situations where players and coaches were verbally displaying their disagreement with my calls. One of our coaches always says ‘Everything can be prepared’. He most certainly is right.
Our headcoach Bob Bhania agrees. Preseason is an amazing time to start making a list. But in fact any day is a great start to improve. ‘You should start listing the things which have been said to you and how you responded or should have responded. Make your list of responses so you can recall them in games.’
I looked back at the season and realized I already had started a very small list. Whenever a player or a coach kept on telling me they saw it differently and it was starting to annoy me I politely tried to tell them: ‘Thank you for your feedback, I know now what you think of us, please don’t give us any more feedback because you’re overfeeding us’.
Or sometimes when players disagreed on a violation I tell them: ‘You might be correct, but that’s not the way I saw it’.
Players that give me tips on the handchecking from their defenders I will usually tell: ‘I will pay extra attention next time’ Always cool if one or two offenses down the line they are playing defense and you can warn them: ‘Don’t use your hands’
If a player is claiming a charge you just can take them along the criteria: ‘Did he/she have LGP?’ , ‘contact on the torso?’ etcetera.
Your lines should be short and clear. It will help you.
We are curious. Can you come up with some good short lines that will help the game progress smoothly?