by Niamh Callaghan
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Day 2 – Mental Preparation
Today we had two clinics, but the major point of emphasis in our learning today was mental preparation for referees. Having a good mental preparation sequence is key in order to referee successfully. In our clinic we learned some techniques which instill positive mental thinking and promote calmness and relaxation prior to, during and post game performances. However, the major focus in the clinic was on how to recover from making mistakes as a referee. A phrase used by the instructor caught my attention and I found it very useful when refereeing my later games – in any field of performance, mistakes are normative. All referees will make mistakes as there is no perfect game, the real test of our strength is in how we recover from our mistakes and learn from them. Positive mental attitudes and positive internal dialogue are key in becoming a top referee.
At camp I learned that it is not the difficult things that we need to master, rather we need to do the simple things right. It is in accomplishing the little things that we improve, learn, grow and develop. During the day we had classroom time during which we had a post game discussion and debrief. We watched video clips from a lot of games in the camp and we looked at various positives and negatives across all of the performances. Luckily for me I was not left out of this exercise, I appeared on a clip for a late rotation. I found that watching myself on video was a real positive in enhancing my own personal development as you can clearly see where you made a mistake and you can start to think about how I can improve and learn from the mistake.
In our games today we refereed both 5 on 5 and 3 on 3. This was difficult as they are two very different styles of game, which require very different refereeing styles. However, the techniques learned from both styles of game complemented each other well and I found this to be another excellent learning experience.
— Read Day 3 —