Remember: It’s Not You; It’s the Situation
During a game, coaches and players can yell and scream and make very personal comments—which is when I remind myself that they’re just upset about the call. They aren’t attacking me. Instead of bristling and reacting, I calmly ask, “Are you talking to me?” or “What did you say?” With those questions, I give the person a chance to back off and take stock of what he’s saying. My unruffled demeanor causes the coach or player to reassess his own approach.
Bill Carollo officiated NFL games, including two Super Bowls, from 1989 to 2008. He is the current director of officiating for the Big Ten Conference, based in Park Ridge, Illinois.