As coaches we all have different strategies about how to deal with officials. Should we be respectful and let them do their job? Should we rant and intimidate? As a coach I don’t think I do a fair job of officiating practice but I certainly criticize during games?
So what is the best approach? I came across this article about Florida coach Mike White where he received some advice from an official that I thought was worth passing on.
White also was asked about his approach with officials in general, how much he talks to them or voices his disagreement over calls during a game.
“Sometimes I talk to them too much. Sometimes you get consumed with them. Sometimes in retrospect you wish maybe you would have said this, or seen that or argued about this or that,” he said. “But I know as a young head coach, my first couple years at Louisiana Tech I was consumed with the officials and being disrespected and so on and so forth as a young head coach.”
White shared a story about being counseled on that by referee Mark Whitehead, who was officiating games at the time and is now the SEC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officials.
“He actually gave me some advice, put me under his arm at one point when he was doing one of our games,” White said. Whitehead “just talked about how I’m actually taking away from the focus on my guys and how to get them better and what we should be looking at offensively and defensively. And he made some great points. That’s why he’s great at what he does. But for the most part, that’s what I try to do. If you’re watching everything the officials are doing, you’re not watching the five guys you’re responsible for.”
Pretty good perspective!