What were they thinking?

by | Dec 6, 2023

Darcy Luoma is one of America’s most highly credentialed coaches. She’s worked in 48 industries, with more than 500 organizations, and has impacted tens of thousands of leaders and employees.

Come on, ref!

This was a common refrain at my house on Sunday night when either the referees of the Packer/Chiefs game made a ridiculous call (personal foul for tackling a player still in bounds!?!) or missed a blatantly obvious call (pass interference, oh so many times!).

While my husband and I yelled at the TV and the broadcasters made their critiques, the players just got back to the game. Sure, there was the waving hands when they were trying to get the flag thrown – or clear frustration on their face when a bad call was made – but after a second or two, the players went to the huddle and stayed focused on the game.

Imagine if they hadn’t.

Imagine if the players had yelled at the refs or complained about it to their teammates for as long as those of us at home did. 

Well, then the fans would’ve turned their ire from the refs to the players! “Get your head in the game!” “Focus!” “Move on!”

The play clock may help, but players know they can’t do anything about bad calls. What do they control? Getting ready for the next play.

How do you handle a bad call?

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to be the recipient of a bad call. Chances are you already experienced one this week.

Whether it’s a boss who didn’t notice how your colleague messed up, but is now coming down on you for the same thing. Or a colleague who calls you out for something you didn’t do, it can be difficult not to have a strong reaction.

And that’s fair. Not having any reaction can be a sign of toxic positivity (i.e. saying it’s fine, when it’s not) or even stonewalling (i.e. shutting down and not caring). 

The question is, how quickly can you get back on that line of scrimmage? Do you get right back to work? Or do you spend time yelling at the refs, complaining to your teammates, or stewing about what’s so unfair?

Your Thoughtfully Fit Core Workout

The next time you’re reacting to a bad call on your team, try this workout.

  • Pause: Notice your reaction and then take a beat.
  • Think: How important is this? What needs to happen moving forward?
  • Act: Focus on what you can control, let go of the rest, and prepare for what’s next.

We can’t control when people make bad calls. How you react to them is your choice

2 minute quiz