What makes a great referee? It used to be that great ref’s weren’t seen, in a sense that, the game was played and no one remembered who the refs were – primarily because they were very good at doing what they do. Simply letting the players play. Nowadays one gripe among the basketball circle surrounding referees is that they want the limelight – Hollywood- to a certain extent. Critics think refs feel as if they need to be seen in order to make an impact on the game or move up in the rankings or whatever may be driving a refs’ agenda.
Critics also feel as if refs are making calls that are borderline when they should just let the kids play. Anticipating calls at times when they think the infraction is about to occur, instead of letting the play play out then determine the call. It’s not a one size fits all case, one argues, when referees determine that the foul occurred when in fact the player made a great defensive or offensive play. During the championships, it’s imperative that refs don’t make bad calls that could change the course of a game. California High School basketball is the bomb. We’re seeing some top level performances – from game winning buckets to overtime thrillers. Games going down to the wire and frankly, games can be decided by one call or the other. Bad ref for one teams’ goals and good ref for the other. How do referees work on the ‘mental aspect’ of the game – similar to the way players have to focus on various mental aspects to become great?
A ref must make sure they’re constantly ‘mentally’ assessing their performances, watching film on themselves, and learning from veteran referees – just to name a few. They must also make sure they’re getting feedback from the crowd during games. Take it with a grain of salt but use it to become a better professional at your craft. During the remaining games we’re hoping that refs will look themselves in the mirror, re-evaluate as need be, and come out with their games faces on. With the primarily goal of just letting the players play.
Become great at what you do