Self-awareness for referees: it’s something you need to work on from the start of your refereeing career. We sometimes underestimate the importance of it or we think it’s something you get when you’re a top level referee.
No it is not!
Recently I read an interview with Arjen Robben in newspaper De Volkskrant. He talks about talents in football, but what he says applies also to referees. He says talents need to work on their self-awareness and self-criticism. “Invest in yourself. Football can bring you so many good things, but don’t be satisfied too soon. I always wanted to prove myself. Always.”
With this blog I want to start the new series about referee development, making a self scan to know your qualities and setting goals for the future.
Think about the next step
One of his tips is that you need to be grateful for what you are allowed to do. Think about officiating a very nice cup game or a match between the numbers one and two in the league. Because that is what you work hard for. Call it the cherry on the cake, but it doesn’t end there. Robben continues. “But football is not just fun, because there is always a next step. And another one.”
Mentality of referees
Because there is a next step, you always need to give the full 100%. Not just during games, also during your training sessions. “Mentality means everything in top sports”, Robben says. “You can have talent, and one has more than the other person, but without the right mentality you will never make it.”
Climbing up the ladder is not all about winning, but also about your self-awareness. Be your own critic. Go on and never stop. See space for improvement and look forward. “If you reflect on the new generation, these things play in important part. How is your environment? How do they experience it? Are you willing to invest to reach the top?
Self-awareness for referees and the pitfalls
Some youngsters don’t see their own potential, “because they think it’s good what they do now”. That’s the pitfall for everyone, also for referee talents. Robben realises there are lots of things outside football that distract kids. “You can’t blame them for that”, he says. “But they can do much better, and they have to.”
Last week you read on the blog about the bigger picture of your refereeing career. The series will continue with an explanation on how to make a self scan of yourself as referee and how to set goals for the future. Keep an eye on this blog!