• DNA Playmakers

Quit yelling at the referees

I have been around the game of basketball for years now. As a player, coach, student and fan, I have experienced the game of basketball at all angles. One thing I’ve come to realize is players, coaches, parents and fans put so much energy into responding to what they call “poor officiating” instead of working on the things they can actually control. This is such a waste of energy.


The more energy you exert on things you can’t control, the more energy you take away from the things you can.

Here are some examples of things you CAN control:


  • Strategizing

  • Player Feedback

  • Clock/Score

  • Sub Rotations



  • Team Communication

  • Work Ethic

  • Clock/Score Management





The pressure of an official is unreal. I had an opportunity to officiate during my summers in college. There are so many calls that could go either way. One questionable call in a game would get me glared at by players, corrected by a coach and screamed at by a section full of angry parents and fans.

It was a humbling experience. It helped me understand the position officials are in. It also helped me understand how I could improve as a player, coach, fan and parent.

Referees are human, and at times, they may make mistakes. They may just see something differently than you do. In any case, they deserve respect. Your respect could possibly get you the call you are looking for when the game is on the line.


1. Be “Unruffleable.” Definition: unbothered by things one can’t control (on or off the court).

Focus on your approach. This goes beyond the game of basketball. How you respond to a referee when a call doesn’t go your way is how you will probably respond in life when things don’t go your way. You are better than that. Practice being “unruffleable” as player, coach or parent. Don’t blame the officials. When you place blame on others, you eliminate any opportunity for self-assessment and growth. Have higher expectations for yourself as a player or coach.

2. Think NEXT PLAY.

The next play is always the most important play, no matter how good or how bad the last play may have been. The last play is one you can’t get back, and the only way it can effect a future play is if one doesn’t self-assess what they could have done better and correct it. Think N.B.A.= Next Best Action.

3. Call on a teammate or player.

When you feel you may respond poorly to a call that is made, call on a teammate, coach or player. This means sending positive energy to an individual or a group to shift one’s focus to the controllable. “Let’s go ladies,” “Let’s get a stop on defense,” “That was a good pass, Justin” or “I have the next one.” Energy goes where your attention flows.

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