Concentration is so important for referees. You can train your brain to focus on the right things. There are some things you can do during the game, but there’s another useful thing: concentration training as match preparation. There are lots of things you can do at home.
As PGMOL’s sports psychologist Liam Slack says: the biggest mistake is that “referees don’t practice concentration during their training sessions”.
But what can you do?
Ian Blanchard wrote a brillaint technique in one of UK’s referee magazines to train your brain. It’s just a simple task that you can do at home while closing your eyes.
Concentration training as match preparation
Blanchard explains: “Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, feel your chest moving as you breath in and out. Count each breath, seeing how many you can count before your mind wanders or is distracted. If you get over 10 you are doing well. Practice this twice a day and set a target of improving your previous count until you are into three figures.”
Getting this technique to higher level
Use same technique as mentioned above. Think about 10 decisions you make as a referee every game. Then breath, make one of the decisions in your head, breath again.
So: breath – give a penalty kick – breath – awared a throw-in – breath – give advantage – etcetera.
You might want to try something else. Ever tried mental imagery? Read more about this technique used by referees.