Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
It is my experience that officials have a strong desire to grow in their discipline. We are basically rational thinking citizens who have a strong yearning for justice, hence our insistence for playing by the rules. Off the field, I have yet to meet a coach whom I did not like as a person. Most are outstanding citizens, great family men, good leaders, excellent role models for their communities.
On the field, most coaches conduct themselves professionally. But given the laws of probability, officials are bound to get their share of aggressive coaches during the course of a season. Given the circumstances of any individual game, though, Coach Jekyll can become Coach Hyde, a person who will do anything but remain professional!
A time for all seasons
Just as in life, there are dangerous times in a lax season that officials should recognize so that game management doesn't suffer. Nothing can upset coaches more than inconsistent game management. Like many officials, I am a member of a professional association. Each association usually has identified several experienced officials who serve as mentors to the rest of the membership.
Make liberal use of those mentors. Watch them work if you're off. Talk to them. Compare one mentor's response to a question with another mentor's ideas. That way, you can pick and choose. An old saying is: All roads lead to Rome.
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