When participants understand what is happening (or what might happen or has just happened), they are less frustrated and consequently less aggressive (Berkowitz, 1989, p. 67). Common misunderstandings include the role of officials and the rules of the game and conflicts between positions or age groups. Coaches guide players by communicating the rules and how they will be enforced and permitting them to see other viewpoints.
When performance is significant and the perceived rewards, testosterone rises when someone falls short of success. This leads to frustration and possibly aggression. A player following mastery-oriented goals, with frequent feedback, is more likely to remain focused and understand how retaliation will sabotage their long-term objectives (Archer, 1991, pp. 17-18). Assist athletes to set realistic goals so they will not be frustrated if they fail to achieve a lofty goal (Berkowitz, 1989, p. 71).
Hostile aggression is impulsive and thoughtless, driven by anger. Usually, a person feels that they are under siege and must react towards a specific target. Provocation in sport includes verbal taunts, physical contact (sanctioned or unsanctioned), (perceived) bad calls, and frustration. Even such spontaneous aggression has some rationale behind it – however thin the logic may be – such as preventing future rough play or defending one’s ego (Anderson & Bushman, 2002, p. 29). On the basketball court, these displays of aggression often result in unnecessary technical fouls and possible ejections or suspensions. Instrumental aggression is planned and premeditated, driven by a motivation to achieve some goal besides harming a particular target (Anderson & Bushman, 2002, p. 29). For example, taking a charge may discourage a basketball player from driving into the paint in the future and give the team an emotional lift. Athletes must understand the differences between the two types of aggressive behaviour. Coaches want to minimize hostile aggression and the rash actions associated with it. Teams must employ instrumental aggression in order to find an optimal level of intensity but every player must know where the line is and how to stay in control of their emotions.