Overcoming Self-Intimidation Out in The Middle

Overcoming Self-Intimidation Out in The Middle

Do you or your colleagues feel intimidated when competing for a promotion? Or do you see it as a challenge to embrace?

In appointments involving top level teams, are you able to rise to the occasion or do you question your ability to perform well?

I’ve worked with many referees over the years who focus too much on their competition for ascent to the next level and thus become self-intimidated. Yes, officiating a derby match or top of the table clash can be stressful, but doesn’t have to be!

Nerves can be elevated when refereeing tough fixtures because you are left alone with your thoughts and play out worst case scenarios in your mind.

One official requested our help with the issue or difficulty of refereeing challenging teams:

“How do I referee without feeling intimidated or self-conscious around high quality players and club officials?”

Here are the most common ways you might feel intimidated:

  • You compare your skills to your colleagues’ skills and feel inferior.
  • You fear you might embarrass yourself if you perform badly in comparison to the competition for promotion.
  • You build up your colleagues in your mind and think, “I have no chance.”
  • You focus too much on the marks of your colleagues and feel you can never stack up.

Sound familiar?

Feeling intimidated or self-conscious can happen at all levels – even in the professional game!

But no one is trying to intimidate you. You do it all on your own by focusing on the talents and record of your colleagues.

It is not possible to focus on two different things at the same time, such as your competition for a cup final and your appointed game. Focus is a one-or-the-other prospect.

The focus you choose affects three things:

  1. How you feel
  2. What you think
  3. And thus how well you perform

Focusing on a colleague who is an idol will create feelings of anxiety, intimidation and fear. You can’t perform your best when you are focused on the strengths and records of someone who is looking to achieve the same goals as you.

Overcoming Self-Intimidation:

How will you ever surpass someone you idolise if you think you can’t? You first have to open the door by thinking anything is possible as a referee.

Don’t build up the competition in your mind to the expense of your confidence! Be sure not to compare your skills, experience, or record to that of your colleagues. This is a sure way to feel intimidated and lose confidence.

Instead focus on your unique talents. What strengths do you bring to big appointments? What advantages do you have as an official?

It might also help to think about a simple concept I work with my clients on: think “nameless.” Don’t attach a name to your competition. Instead, think that they are human too and put on their socks one foot at a time – just like you!

Embrace the challenge of testing your skills against quality colleagues!

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.