❓Here are 21 questions that you can ask yourself as you are breaking down your next game.
🚩Use these markers as a template to help you better self-evaluate your performance.
🎨Hopefully, this can inspire you to add more questions to your own list but more importantly increase your content knowledge and awareness as a true observer into the art of officiating.
1️⃣. Do you wear out the pause and rewind buttons?
You can spend hours breaking down a couple of plays from a single game. The value is in the controls and your ability to recognize more and more patterns from each watch. Fall in love with the repetitions.
2️⃣. Are you always finding your clocks?
This is a muscle memory switch that we have to train our brains to always keep on. The natural tendency for most is to watch the game and not the clock but if we establish markers and reminders throughout each play we can become consistent with the times.
3️⃣. How do you referee plays to the basket and at the rim?
In all positions, we will officiate plays to the goal so remember to be at your best when deciding whether to put potential points on the board.
4️⃣. Are you patient enough in Lead or are you REACTING to incidental contact?
Don’t ever underestimate the ability to be great NO-CALLER. The majority of our decisions do not involve having a whistle so by the numbers it would suit us to be a super accurate NO-CALLER. The development of this skill will give you a higher play call percentage in the end.
5️⃣. Are you in a dependable position or are you disconnected from the play?
Our purposeful movements should always improve our field of vision to the locations we should be looking at. Try to think 1 play ahead to be twice as good.
6️⃣. Are you sideline oriented in Trail and Center or are you too far out onto the court?
Remember to make the mental switch when jumping from 2-person to 3-person. Sometimes, the 2-person game requires us to move onto the court more often to referee weak side match-ups from the trail.
*The trail has to cover 16% less ground when there is a center involved.
7️⃣. Do you overrun plays in the Trail or do you stay centered on the ball line?
Try to set up right in between the on-ball matchup and adjust accordingly. When we drop too low in the trail position we lose visibility on the potential point of contact to the shooters outside arm.
8️⃣. Do you referee to the top of your eyes or does your vision lack a vertical jump?
The rim is 10 feet tall but sometimes our vision has to be higher than that. Don’t underestimate the ability to have quick eye speed and lock in on the target of illegal contact.
9️⃣. Are your rotations effective or is your timing and awareness off?
Rotations from the lead position are one of the biggest weaknesses of new officials to the 3-person system. Having a feel for the game and knowing what the offense and defense are doing at the moment and beyond will help you determine if you should rotate over or not. It’s all about having an open look and being comfortable with your current positioning. If not, it’s time to move.
1️⃣0️⃣. Are you sequencing plays or do you struggle to recognize the order and timeline of our rulings?
Think of sequencing plays as the timeline of our decisions. For example, when a player catches the ball we begin by first refereeing their feet. Then, we judge the legality of the defender into the further action of the matchup and beyond.
Let’s double click down on a common example of a sequencing play involving a screen and roll with a 3-point attempt…
Screen-line-defender simply means:
1) Screen- Does the screener set a legal screen?
2) Line- Is the shot attempt a 2 or a 3?
3) Defender- Is there contact and is it illegal or incidental?
1️⃣1️⃣. Do you fight to get open angles or are you getting lost in the players?
The right answer is always moving to improve our look on every possession. Although, many times we are still & stationary, have the feel for the game to know when it’s time to move.
1️⃣2️⃣. Do you walk into stacks or are you able to adjust to avoid them?
Recognize the next potential matchup and when a stack might occur. One way to avoid a stack is to control your angles and see one matchup ahead.
1️⃣3️⃣. Do you throw strikes in your secondary or do you paint the corners?
To use a baseball reference…When we come out of our primary we should throw the ball right down the pipe and not try to hit the outside of the plate. If you’re going to throw a ball then don’t throw it at all. Our percentages are greatly reduced when we call from out of our primary. Use discretion.
1️⃣4️⃣. Do you have good whistle timing?
Sometimes, the story ends early and we need an immediate whistle.
Sometimes, the story ends in the middle and we need and intermediate whistle.
Sometimes, the story ends at the end and we need a few extra moments to process the play.
*Add more patience to patience
1️⃣5️⃣. Do you show effort and urgency?
The ability to remain poised throughout the pressurized moments of the game is essential to controlling ourselves so we can then control the game. However, when the step-up moments occur we must instantly flip the switch and be ready to respond accordingly.
1️⃣6️⃣. Do you recognize which defenders can hurt you the most?
Don’t anticipate the decision but do anticipate the flow of the play and where it might lead to. Having a gauge into which defenders will become involved in the sequence can be a helpful reminder and allow you to process more information about the play.
1️⃣7️⃣Do you crack and cave under pressure?
If this was boxing, do you have the ability to take a punch and recover or do you have a soft chin and lose control of the moment? If this a weakness of yours let this be the moment it starts to become one of your greatest strengths.
*Look at your body language and demeanor as key indicators and during the times of duress to determine if you need to improve this skill.
1️⃣8️⃣. Do you work every possession hard or do you take plays off?
The desire to become a great official in the micro means we spend each and every possession trying to get the plays right. We should be inspired to want to improve with each click of the clock. The referee who occasionally takes a few possessions off becomes vulnerable to potentially losing control of the game. Taking plays off is also one of the quickest ways to stunt your growth and remain stagnant.
1️⃣9️⃣. Do you have a feel for every game you work?
Can you work any game, at any level, in any place, at any time? Developing the versatility to officiate in many different environments will help shape you to become a more well-rounded referee. Be contextual to each varying game or level you work. Having a feel for the game is a natural talent but it can be improved through study and repetition.
2️⃣0️⃣. When you miss a call do you go in a box?
How fast is your mistake recovery time? Study your demeanor the ensuing possessions following an error or missed call. Try to rapidly remove the emotion from a previous decision whether positive or negative. This will result in helping you develop a consistent next play mentality.
2️⃣1️⃣. Are you improving with each performance on film?
As we break down more and more games we should notice a spike in our precision and command. Be sure to extract as many takeaways from each game and immediately insert them into your games that follow.
To listen to The Crown Refs Podcast episode 94, with Al Battista click here https://anchor.fm/crown-refs/episodes/94-21-Questions-to-help-you-effectively-break-down-film–with-Al-Battista-eeplgp
To watch Episode 94 click here https://youtu.be/4_uI841xHd8