Referee Nuts and Bolts – December 2011

by:  John Van de Vaarst

Volume 31 – December 2011

This monthly column is written primarily for the college and high school soccer Referee. However, any soccer Referee who wishes to improve personal performance may also find that this series is helpful.

For the vast majority of high school and college referees the season has ended.  Only a few post season games are left and those assignments have been made.  So now that the season is over what should the referee do?  First, this is a good time to take some time to rest and recover from the season.   Those small aches and pains, sore muscles, etc. can use some rest and healing time.  While resting, take the opportunity to spend additional time with the family to make up from all those afternoons, evenings and weekends that you were away from home working games.

While it is most important to rest for awhile, do not let the time slip away.   Physical fitness training and proper nutrition is a year round process.  If  you take too much time off, it will be difficult to get back up to the fitness level you need to be at later in the year.  With the holidays upon us it is easy to overeat and not train.  This can result in problems down the road.  Moderation is always the key word during the holiday season.  Varying your training regiment during the off season should help with endurance and overall fitness.   Think of new things to do when training such as gym time, running in different areas to enjoy the scenery, etc.

During the off season there are many opportunities to attend clinics, view learning videos and meet with fellow officials to discuss season highlights and low lights.  We all had a problem or two during games this year.   Spend some time with a senior official talking about it and use it as a teaching moment so that next season you are even more prepared as you walk on the field.  Each winter there are several clinics available on key topics.   Attendance at these training programs will help you to develop new skills and techniques.  Also, if you have been too busy to keep up with the monthly articles on  now is a good time to catch up on your reading.  These articles are prepared by officials with a great amount of experience and are willing to share these experiences in print.

If you are a new NISOA member or a high school official who wants to improve their skills, begin considering attending the 2012 NISOA National Training Camp at Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA.  This four day program is a great opportunity to learn, train and receive immediate feedback on field performance.  More information will be posted on the web site in mid January.

As someone once said “take time to smell the roses” and then return to your training programs in a positive manner.   Enjoy the holiday season.