Case Study - Supporting a Newly Promoted Referee to Rebuild His Confidence

Case Study – Supporting a Newly Promoted Referee to Rebuild His Confidence

The following example is a representation of a very common challenge which we help officials to overcome

The Client:

A Level 4 Referee who has been active for 7 seasons.

The Challenge:

The client had been a level 4 referee for 18 months. The first season he officiated sporadically at his new, higher level due to the COVID pandemic, however, when appointed he performed well. At the beginning of the current season, he began to struggle and lose confidence. He found himself not being selected as often, and when he was given a fixture, it was often a late appointment, meaning he wasn’t first choice to referee the game. As a result, his confidence continued to slowly disappear and he officiated with a sense of dread. He did not enjoy training and being around his colleagues.

The Objectives:

  • To help restore the official’s confidence so that he can achieve a greater level of match control.
  • To manage criticism better.
  • To referee to his strengths, using his management skills and physical fitness.
  • To improve his communication skills with colleagues, players and club officials.
  • To be a better father and husband and a nicer person to be around when he’s spending time with his family.

The Process:

Over a three month period we met every two to three weeks for one hour at a time, using zoom video conferencing software. The sessions included:

  • A detailed needs analysis where we looked in depth at the client’s lifestyle, hobbies and work background.
  • His motivation for refereeing was discussed in depth.
  • Trigger points that may have impacted his confidence were explored.
  • His personal core values and how they overlapped into his life, work and refereeing were examined.
  • The client shared his strengths as a person and as a referee, where we dug deep into how he thought, felt and behaved when he was at his best.
  • His expectation levels in different situations were discussed to understand where he helped himself and where he was getting in his own way.
  • Applicable process goals to change his focus were agreed.
  • We explored how he prepared for matches and how this impacted upon his confidence levels. 
  • The client’s interpersonal communicational style, in a range of situations, on and off the field of play were assessed.
  • A solution focused approach was taken to ensure that he gained quick and positive results.

The Conclusion:

  • The referee found the sessions very helpful and was engaged in the process. 
  • He better understood his strengths and began officiating to them more.
  • He began embracing curveballs which were thrown at him on matchdays, such as floodlight failures, inclement weather conditions and mass confrontations.
  • The client’s body language was more relaxed and he gave off a more positive persona.
  • His communication improved, where he was more assertive in challenging situations.
  • He found that his match control improved, and that in matches his authority was challenged less by players and club officials.
  • In his personal life, he was looking after himself better and enjoying more quality time with his wife and children.

I really hope that this case study has given you a flavour of how we support referees climbing the ladder and officials in general.  This type of challenge can be overcome with expert support and guidance and is something we specialise in.

If you’d like to learn more about how we could help you or your colleagues, then why not get in touch?

If you found this Blog helpful, please share it with your colleagues, managers or coaches.  

At The Third Team I work individually and in collaboration with different professionals where I have developed workshops and 1-2-1 sessions associated with Resilience and Mental Toughness Development to help referees. The workshops and 1-2-1 sessions are interactive, where referees are encouraged to open up and share their experiences to help themselves and each other.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more about my workshops or 1-2-1 sessions and how I could help you or your officials.

Best Wishes,

Nathan Sherratt Signature

Nathan Sherratt

Referee Educator & Managing Director of The Third Team

Nathan Sherratt

Nathan Sherratt, Referee Educator, Resilience Trainer and Managing Director of The Third Team.  A Mental Toughness Practitioner based in County Durham, North East England.