How referee Alan Kelly stays fit in corona period

How does referee Alan Kelly stay fit during the Covid 19 crisis? Alan Kelly talks about this on a webinar by Silbo, a company that automates sports officiating administration.

The MLS referee has a daily morning routine – Covid 19 or not. He wears a Polar watch that measures his fitness and sleep. “First thing that we do every morning. I check my resting heart rate”, the former FIFA referee from Ireland says. “Then I answer 5 questions how I slept, how I feel. And I send it to the referee department and get a training programme each day.”

MLS referee Alan Kelly during work-out. Photo courtesy of referee.

Uploading training results

Referee Alan Kelly is just back from an injury, so he’s building up his training intensity again. “When I have trained, I upload this to a computer”. Because fitness instructors that help the referee department will see the results of his training, they can adjust it to his performance. “Based on my results they change the scheme for the rest of the week.”

Referee Alan Kelly’s basement is a home gym

“My basement is converted to a little bit of a home gym”, he says. Kelly has the opportunity to use weights, bands and he can cycle and jog. No running yet, because of the injury he had. 

The programmes professional referees at PRO get are tailored for each individual. “The expectation is that we look after ourselves, because we need to be prepared if we return into practise again.”

Training almost every day 

In this period with Covid 19 and no games, there’s maybe 1 intensity session instead of 2 per day. “But it’s a 5 or 6 day process every single week”, he says. It shows the importance of fitness for referees these days. “That’s an expectation for the level we’re operating at.”

And what keeps them going? I’ve written a blog post about how to stay motivated when not having any games. Referee Alan Kelly mentions a messages from a colleague, that he received in a group chat. It showed what you should keep in mind as well. “One of the guys in the group send a text: whenever we’re back, we’re going to be operating at a regular basis, so we have te be ready.” Because of that they keep motivated. “We approach every day as if we’re still in the season.”

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