Pierluigi Collina fitness tips

The Pierluigi Collina fitness tips are part of my second blog post on Fitness Friday. After watching the Pierluigi Collina Master Class I started reading his book again. It’s from 2003 and at that time he already stresses the importance of fitness for referees, because the games are going faster.

Run, referee, run

Run, referee, run. That’s how the chapter starts when Collina writes about match preparation. It perfectly describes how Collina looks at a modern referee. And as you’d have noticed, referees at the men’s World Cup in Russia or the women’s World Cup in France are super fit. All under the surveillance of Collina, who is the current chairman of FIFA’s Referees’ Committee. Collina wants referees to be fit.

Read the 5 Pierluigi Collina fitness tips.

1. Train when you’re not tired

The first of the Pierluigi Collina fitness tips is to train when you’re not tired. After a full day of work or school you’ll be physically and mentally tired, he says. “It’s not easy to deliver a physical effort that fatigues you even more.” You’ll stop more easily. So try to find a time that works for you. Or make sure you have some time to relax at home before going off to the training pitch at night.

2. Start training from a young age

Refereeing at a lower level doesn’t cost you that much energy as refereeing at higher levels. But that doesn’t mean you should take it easy. Training can make you grow as a referee. “It’s your investment for the future, from which you’ll reap the benefits later on in your career”, says Collina. And he adds that creating routines to train frequently will help your body get used to it.

3. Fit referees make fewer mistakes

“If a referee is fully fit, he or she will make fewer mistakes”, is what Pierluigi says to refs in Malta in national newspaper Independent. “On the contrary, if a referee is tired near the end of the match because he/she is not well trained, then the official may commit a mistake which may be crucial.”

A lesson that you should keep in mind. Are you fit enough to referee for 90+ minutes? And are you mentally fit as well? See tips to stay focused for 90 mins.

4. Preparation is key to success

If you want to be the best referee, it’s not only your performance during the game that matters. “What makes the difference is the preparation”, stresses Collina. “If you are prepared for something, you are succesful.”

5. Be ready to change

Because football changes and becomes faster, referees need to change and become faster. “It is not only important that you are good”, Collina says. “You also need to look good. Football needs athletes as referees.”

I am very happy with a referee organisation in The Hague that offers me training twice a week, but not everyone has that option. It’s awesome if you can find the opportunity and the drive to train and you’ll find more fitness tips and weekly training schedules on this referee blog.

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