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Friday, 27 January 2023
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The Mental Effects of the Game

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Aside from an official’s physicality, there are three factors that can overcome a referee’s ability to perform.  These things that can happen at any moment in a basketball game.  These mental effects have the capabilities to unfold rapidly, creating chaos among your crew and the game.  The worse part of this is the only person that may not be able to see it happening, is you. 

Pressure.  The pressure from the crowd, the coach and players and the game can cause a disruption in your play calling abilities.  Naturally, pressure is designed to have an inverse effect on your awareness in the game.  As pressure goes up, your awareness goes down.

Anxiety.  The anxiety of working the game brings fear to your whistle.  The sound of your whistle may be drowned out by the crowd.  You may be afraid to make a wrong call.  Everyone is calling the fouls for you. 

Fatigue.  At this point we let everything go, and make the easy calls and violations.  You are unable to move up and down the court, which half court becomes your central area of officiating.

When we have been compromised from any of these events, we tend to fall back on our habits.  Understand your habits and differentiate between your good and bad habits.  This is why you should establish good habits.  It is for these moments that it is best to fall back on good habits, rather than bad habits.

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