A proper warm-up for referees is needed for both training sessions in games. It will improve your performance and reduces your risk of injury.
The blog post is based on lessons I followed as a referee and notes I took.
Physical effects of a warm-up
The physical effects of a proper warm-up for referees are:
- Less stiffness in muscles and joints
- More activity in nerve system, which means a better coordination
- Better circulation of blood, so more oxygen to your muscles and you’ll easier get rid of (too many) lactic acids
Mental effects of a warm-up
When you do a good warm-up:
- You’ll be better focused mentally (more tips to stay focused)
- You can adapt to the field conditions and know what you need to deal with. Plus you can pick the right clothing and shoes).
- You get used to the match circumstances, like the fans and the pitch
What the real warm-up looks like
Because the effects are important, I’ve written them out below. You need to know what the benefits are for you, but I get that you want concrete tips to do your warm-up properly.
- 5 minutes of jogging
- 5 minutes of mobilisation exercises. Examples are: tripling, skipping, moving sideways, moving backwards, cariocas, zigzag shuffling.
- 5 minutes of accelerations (10 to 50m)
- 5 minutes of dynamic stretching or core exercises. At my referee association in The Hague we do two different exercises of the dynamic stretches:
- standing in an angle of 90 degrees on the fence. Hold it with one hand and move your leg forward and backwards (leg pendulum or forward leg swing)
- standing in front of a fence and move the leg from left to right. You’ll find more online for standing leg swing sideways.
- Examples of core exercises: stepping out and moving your knee out/in, jump forward or backward and land on one leg, lean on one leg and bend the knee. Check out core and stability exercises you can do at home.
- 5 minutes of sprints
- You can do a few sprints of 10, 20 or 30 metres. When you walk back, you get some rest as well.
Below you’ll see me check out the warm-up of the refereeing team at the TD Place in Ottawa.
Credits plus KNVB newsletter worth checking
The blog post is based on lessons I followed as a referee and notes I took. One part of these lessons were videos by pro referees fitness coach Hilco de Boer. KNVB has also a monthly newsletter with tips and fitness exercises. Subscribe via the KNVB website and pick KNVB Assist Scheidsrechters (the Dutch word for referees).