The first is something to be taken care of before you leave home: your uniform. Look like a referee when you arrive at the game site and you are more likely to be treated like one during the game. This means a clean and neat (not faded) uniform, a current association patch, and shoes shined. Carry a shoe brush in your bag to touch up the shine before the game or at halftime. First impressions are important; make sure yours is a good one.
The second area is your arrival at the game site. Do you screech into the parking lot, run into the gym and start the game? Or, do you arrive 20-30 minutes ahead if time, inspect the equipment, playing surface and players, brief your partner(s) and generally allow yourself to take your time and do things right? If you are hurried and hassled before the game, you cannot be in the proper frame of mind to do a good job officiating.
Another area is your visit to the coaches to introduce yourself. Keep it short and sweet without a lot of joking and camaraderie, regardless of how well you know the coach.
Remember, the other team is watching for evidence of prejudice - they are more than ready to convict you on the slightest pretext. If you approach everyone at the game site from a professional point of view, you can avoid a lot of grief.
With the captains together the meeting, some referees deliver a lecture on rules or what they will and will not allow. You are wasting your breath. Players are concentrating on getting psyched up for the game and may even resent the intrusion. At worst, you can paint yourself into a corner by prescribing certain penalties for particular offenses. In a given situation, you may not want to apply that penalty. If you pronounce your intentions ahead of time, someone will undoubtedly remind you of your earlier statement and ask why you changed your mind. Prevent the problem by giving the lecture to yourself while you are getting ready for the game and leave the players alone.
Try to do your equipment inspection while walking through the players during their warmup. Officials can keep a low profile rather than inject themselves into the game. If you had problems with a particular player in the past, ignore it. You’ll only open yourself to charges of bias if you refer to the problem in pregame meetings.
Once the game is over, leave. Don't hang around and lecture a player or talk to a coach. If you want to watch the game following yours, don’t go into the stands in uniform. Change your clothes and don't criticize the officials. Remember the golden rule as well as the code of ethics.
Those are a few topics for thought. The ideas are not infallible, but applied on a regular basis they should take some of the hassle out of your games. Remember the game is for the players, not for you. Officials have tremendous power that, used inappropriately, can destroy the game. lf you can remain in the background and prevent problems rather than react to happenings on the field, you will have not only done your job but done that job splendidly.
You will make mistakes. You must learn from your mistakes so you can prevent that particular problem in future games.