How to honor officials throughout the season

Sept. 06, 2011, 12 a.m. (ET)

A key to Responsible Coaching is clear communication with players and their parents. So, occasionally in this series of articles, we will deliver sample scripts that Responsible Coaches can draw from to address individual topics. The first topic is how to treat officials, which coaches should address in a pre-season meeting with players and parents.

You should be a Responsible Coach because coaches are among the most influential adults in the lives of youth athletes. In conjunction with parents and schools, coaches are key to developing character in our children.

On we provide numerous tools for you to get information and apply them to your team. There real-life videos, podcasts with sport celebrities, printable PDF’s and other content online. A few examples to address in a pre-season meeting of honoring officials:

“Knowing, as I said earlier in this meeting, that we strive to win games, but more importantly teach life lessons through sports, it won’t surprise you that an important aspect of our program is Honoring the Game. We need cooperation and commitment from coaches, players and parents to Honor the Game.

“We’ll use an acronym to remember what I mean by Honoring the Game. The acronym is ROOTS, which stands for respecting Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self. We’ll talk about each of those during this meeting, but for now, let’s focus on officials.

“Officials have a tough job to do, and it’s harder for them to do this job well if we’re all over them. If they make a mistake, they probably know it. They want to let it go, and we want them to let it go so they can concentrate on getting the next call right. If I see some persistent issues or have a question about a call, I may talk to the officials during a break in the action.”

Read more about Honoring Officals

The Liberty Mutual Responsible SportsTM program supports volunteer youth sports coaches and parents who help our children succeed both on and off the field. We offer many youth sports resources including $2,500 community grants, instructional videos, weekly tips, peer and expert advice, and coursework for those interested in improving the youth sports experience for all involved.