HI referee training session

 A HI referee training session that is given by myself at my referee assocition. It’s a session of just over 1 hour, with lots of exercises that help you train at high intensity.

In an earlier blog post you’ll read about the 5 benefits of HI sessions and you’ll see a few more exercises.

Warm-up basics

I always start the training sessions with a proper warm-up. Firsty, the referees will jog around for 8-10 minutes. Then I’ll add dynamic exercises like knee-lifting, moving sideways and so on. Check out the full warm-up story with tips.

Warm-up exercise

Part of my warm-up is the next exercise, because it’s perfect to add accelerations into it. It’s a pyramid where orange cones are placed at 10, 30, 50 and 60 metres. And FYI: we’ll use these ones later on as well. 

  • Let the referees jog to cone 1 at 10m and jog back
  • Then an acceleration to cone 1 and jog back
  • Then jog to cone 2 at 30m, and jog back.
  • Then an acceleration to cone 1 and jog back
  • And so on. 

After you went to cone 4, you’ve reached the top of the pyramid. After that you also go down and go to cone 3, 2 and 1. And between every jog distance, you accelerate to the 1st cone. 


Main part: HI referee training session

At my referee association we used to work with a pitch of 60 metres. Because the distances in this exercise, which I’ve seen in a Uefa training programme, are 60m or 30m, that’s ideal. Let me know when you’re curious how you can map it out on a bigger pitch.

In this exercises you start at the corner of the pitch and zigzag from one side to the other, and back.

  • We start with a 60m acceleration to full sprint, which goes to the other goal-line of the small pitch
  • Then we jog 30 metres to the halfway-line
  • Followed by 30 metres of walking
  • We then do a Hi run of 60 metres to the other goal-line
  • From the goal-line we then run 30m to the middle of the field of play and jog 30m back to the same goal-line
  • After that you do another HI run of 60 metres to the other goal-line
  • Then again 30 metres of jogging, followed by 30 metres of walking
  • We conclude with a 60m acceleration to sprint
  • and we jog back over the goal-line to the start 

The reference time for Uefa referees was 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Aim for 2 m 30s. Uefa referees repeat this for 5 times. I did it 4 times.

For my exercises I always use the same cones: white walk, yellow jog, 1 orange = HI, 2 orange = sprint. And not used now: blue for backwards. 

In-between exercise

After such an intense session I personally love to add a more relaxed exercise. I use the orange cones from the pyramid again. Now we only use them for jogging. We go to cone 1, back to the base, to cone 2, back to base. And then to 3 and 4 as well. No accelerations, and we only go up the pyramid. 

Suicide run

The next exercise was called a suicide run. We use the cones used at the pyramid exercise. So place them at 10, 30, 50 and 60 metres.

The full exercises is at high speed / as fast as possible. 

  • Go to cone 1, back to the base
  • Then to cone 2, back to cone 1
  • Go to cone 3, back to cone 2
  • Finish with cone 4

Want to make it extra intense? You can also go back to cone 3 and finish at cone 4 with a 10m sprint. 

You can do this exercise in 1 minute. Make sure you walk back to the start and take at least 1 minute for that. So the work vs rest ratio is 1:1. Reapet this exercise for 3 times.

HI referee training repetition

Now you repeat the HI referee training part of this session. Depending on fatigue, you can change the accelerations to runs at high intensity. Another option is to shorten the accelerations and make them 30 metres by adding a yellow cone halfway, so you jog 30 metres from the start and then run 30 metres at sprint speed.

Variation based on ability is crucial. 

Cooling down

Make sure you do a proper cooling down as well. Don’t finish with HI runs. This is part of your recovery and is crucial for you.

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