How To Deal With An Angry Coach As An Official

No matter how old you are, or what position you are performing during a game, dealing with a mean coach can really impact how you feel about a sport.

It can make or break your attitude towards the activity, even making you feel useless and worthless.

In this article, we will look at 5 steps you, as an official, can take to deal with an angry coach.

Keep Calm (Don’t Retaliate)

When a person is yelling at you, especially if they are calling you names and making you feel bad, sometimes our automatic response is to return the favor.

It may feel like second nature to want to defend yourself.

It is important to remember that, in these situations, fighting fire with fire will probably make your situation worse.

As an official, it is in your best interest – or, at least, it should be in your best interest – to make the right call for the greater good. Others may disagree with your decisions, but, ultimately, it is your call to make.

If a coach starts getting angry with you for a decision you made, you may feel yourself getting frustrated. However, the best thing you can do is keep calm, and don’t retaliate to their anger.

If someone is angry enough that they are raising their voice, that often means that they are not fully in control of their thoughts and actions.

They are acting on their emotions at that moment, and reacting in a similar way will not make them see sense. Instead, it may cause them to get even angrier.

Honestly, your best option is to take a deep breath and try to ground yourself.

Counting to ten may help, or even closing your eyes for a moment. Everybody will have their own mechanisms that work for them, so take some time to figure out what works for you.

Don’t Take It To Heart

Is the coach only targeting you, or are they yelling at everyone?

If the latter is true, then there are two ways to look at this scenario: first of all, the coach does not have it out for you, specifically. It sounds like they are frustrated with the game overall.

How To Deal With An Angry Coach As An Official (2)

If this is the case, it is so important that you don’t take the abuse personally.

Additionally, unless there is a personal issue between the two of you, the likelihood is that the coach does not view you as a ‘person’, per se: they view you as the one thing that is coming between their team winning the game, and losing that game.

Try to remember that they may be very passionate about their game, and they want their team to do the best that they can.

When you get involved – doing your job, of course – this can be frustrating for them, as they can’t see the clear picture at that moment.

Talk To The Coach

Everybody gets frustrated at times, and it is understandable that a coach may get very frustrated at times: after all, he/she will want their team to win, and become successful in their sport.

Sometimes, this can sometimes be conveyed in the wrong way, and the coach can then take it out on those around them.

Coaches are human beings, just like you. Try calling them to the side, and reminding them that every decision that you are making, you are making out of fairness for the game.

We don’t recommend that you use any phrases along the lines of, ‘you need to calm down’, as this is probably the worst thing you can say to someone who is frustrated and angry.

You may know how this feels: most people have been in that position before.

Speak calmly and slowly, and try not to retaliate to their attitude. As we previously explained, fighting fire with fire very rarely works.

Speak To The Coach’s Superiors

If this specific coach seems to have a particularly bad attitude during every game, and always seems to have something to have a go at you about, then this may be something that needs to be addressed externally.

If you have noticed that the coach is not only throwing insults your way, but also towards their team, towards the opposing team, or even towards spectators, something will need to be done.

Get in contact with the coach’s superiors, and a meeting can be arranged to review his or her behavior. They may receive a warning, or they could even get replaced.

Even if you are the world’s biggest sport’s fan, it needs to be understood that a sports game is exactly that: a game.

No one should have to deal with abuse while playing a game, as it should not get taken that seriously.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with a mean coach can completely suck the fun out of any activity, whether you’re a child trying out for a game for the first time, or an adult who is simply trying to fairly officiate a game.

No matter how thick your skin is, this can wear anyone down after a while.

Try following our advice above. Try to stay positive, and focus on your love for this sport.

Focus on remaining fair, and doing what you can to keep the game moving. Most importantly, always remember your worth, and trust your instincts.

We hope you found this article informative and useful.

Steven Anderson