Do you compare yourself to other referees who might be in the promotion system? If the answer is yes – there is a good chance you will get intimidated at times. You may go on to compare yourself to other referees who you think are better than you or other assistants who you rate highly.
This approach puts your competitors in your banding or going for a promotion on a pedestal and makes you feel inferior. Straight from the kick off it’s like you’ve made an error on a key match incident and have been drawn into self-intimidation. It’s hugely common and a great way to wreck your self-confidence.
An example, is a professional referee who, in his previous 6 games had made 10 errors on key match incidents and as a consequence was struggling near the bottom of his banding. He was worrying about things outside of his control, going on to the field of play in fear and this caused indecision every time he had to blow his whistle.
So how could he help himself and stop destroying his own confidence?
Here are 3 strategies we used….
1) Stop thinking about what is wrong with yourself by:
a) Listing your strengths
b) Spending time regularly working on improving your strengths
c) Understand what you do when you referee well
2) Form some strategies to change your focus when you:
a) Become aware that you have begun to focus on the abilities and track records of other referees
b) Recognise that doubts about refereeing well have crept in
c) Feel inferior to your competitors in your banding or going for a promotion
d) Focus too much on previous games where you have made errors before the game or in the warm up.
3) Practise imagery, seeing yourself perform at your best, no matter who the teams are or what the league is.
Overall, look to display your skills and abilities, performing to your best in spite of the challenges you face that may intimidate you or teams with big reputations and remember the players, club officials and spectators are human and may have an off day, they certainly aren’t perfect!
Referee Educator & Managing Director of The Third Team