How Jamie Wallace is helping referees mentally

You might think you’re ready for all your games. You are a physically fit referee, but you still don’t earn your promotion or some negatives thoughts are keeping you behind the others. That’s because you find it difficult to deal with negative feelings or you don’t know how to deal with setbacks. “Now is the time to train your mind also”, says Jamie Wallace, who is helping referees mentally with her firm Empathy Counselling.

She will discuss 4 scenario’s below that referees can face in their career. Good things to discuss at referee associations!

Jamie Wallace with Mark Halsey and Andy Hogg at a recent Referee Development Seminar

Please introduce yourself
“My name is Jamie Wallace, I have studied Health and Social Care for 6 years, and have recently set up my own counselling firm as a result. I started off my career working in Pharmacy, and realised that helping people mwas the path that I wanted my career to take, so embarked upon my Bsc Hons Health and Social Care degree. Through my studies, I learned of the importance of the mind, and how through training our minds, and the power of positive thinking we can change our outlook, convert irrational thinking to rational, and have more control over our everyday lives. We put so much effort into looking after our bodies, now is the time to train and look after the mind also.”

What’s your experience so far with helping referees?
“Recently I have led a mental health session within one of our local referee training days, and have discussed and explored many difficult scenarios that referees face everyday, and how we can train and prepare our minds to handle these in a more productive way. It is so interesting and valuable to hear first hand of real experiences, so feel free to participate and comment on your own experiences.”

What’s mental problems could referees face?
“Below is a few of the scenarios that we discussed, and outlines some of the difficult situations and decisions that referees face.”

Scenario One: Handling Negative feedback

“Handling Negative feedback from assessors via a match report. How does this make you feel? How do you handle this? Do you blame the assessor, or reflect on yourself? Does this effect you negatively (resulting in anger, reduction in confidence, apathy) or positively (ignites a fire in you to address the feedback and improve, and work towards a planning strategy to succeed)?

Scenario Two: Overthinking your decision

“You have made a decision in the first half of a match, which at the time you believe was scorrect. It has caused a lot of controversy, and has caused the crowd and team management to turn on you. The atmosphere at the match has changed. This has caused you to reflect at half time, and upon reflection you feel your decision was wrong …

Questions to ask yourself?

  • How does this effect your second half performance and focus?
  • Do you put this down to experience and move on?
  • Do you overcompensate with the team you ruled against, and make u for your error?
  • Do you lose confidence and focus over-analysing the error?

Scenario Three: Refereeing a friend

“You have received your match detail for Saturday and on one side your best friend is playing. This generates a lot of concerns for you.”

Questions to ask yourself:

  • “How do you set him up to know that you must remain professional and objective?
  • Can you remain professional and objective?
  • How will you approach the situation? Do you approach the situation?
  • Will the other team know of your friendship and challenge your integrity?”

Scenario Four: Broken car

“You have a pre-match routine every week. This really sets you up for the game. However, this week, your car has broken down enroute to the match, leaving you no time to prepare. How does this effect your mind-set going into the game and subsequently your performance?”

“As you can see from just these few scenarios that I have picked out, referees face difficult decision making, adversity, and rigorous criticism, therefore meaning that both the mind and the body must be prepared for the position.”

You give advice via your online platform. What options do you have for referees or associations there?

Through Empathy counselling we have several options for referee associations:

We offer positive health workshops either one to one or on an online group session: This allows us to discuss scenarios and situations relevant to the referees within that group specifically, allowing us to create future plans, and exercises in place to aid a positive mind-set. It also supports the network building between the group.

We have individual consultations online for anyone who feel they would prefer this option.

Logo Empathy Counselling.Anyone contacting Empathy counselling from the blog will receive 20% discount. Any associations will receive 50% discount.

Go to the Empathy Counseling website and get in touch with Jamie Wallace.

Want a further read on mental health? Read 7 tips to stay concentrated during the game.

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