How to stay focused during first friendlies of the 2017-2018 season

Remain focused during first friendlies of the football season. That’s sometimes a quite difficult job. I am happy to be back at the football pitches, because it gives me a great feeling. Football, I love it. But a game needs a different focus than a training session. How do I keep paying attention?

After the season I quit football for a month. That feels great. Out for a long holiday trip to Africa. It feels great, I can recommend it to anyone. But I can’t sit still when I am back home. I want to run, release my energy. I am lucky that my referee association offers two training sessions per week – even in the summer months. And that for just 65 euro’s per year. I feel fit and I was determined to go there twice a week and do my own exercises in the weekend.

Me as assistant referee

Get into match vibes

But before the season starts, I want to get into matchday mood. Doing just friendlies is not good, because you need to build up your physical ability. Check out more pre-season tips.

I need to get into the football rythm again, so I’ll always try to get appointed for some friendlies. Two as referee is usually fine by me, but I will be asked do a few as assistant referee as well. That’s how I start my preparation.

My first game is on the line at Scheveningen versus SJC. I realise I am quite sharp when it comes to offside, but I tend to follow the game when not playing in my half. When the defending team on my half goes for an attack, is when I lack attention. The key decisions are correct. Okay, no video prove there, but I am in the right position. But when walking towards the middle line I am behind the secondlast defender for over 5 metres sometimes.

Use cue words

Using cue words, that’s key here. Say words like “secondlast defender” or “keep on their line”, or whichever word works for you. If you say these words – for yourself, not out loud – it will keep you focused to be on the same line as the secondlast defender. That is where you need to be to make the perfect decision. Check out 7 tips to stay focused for 90 minutes.

I will not be on the line during the season, but these friendlies will help me a lot. I realise during these games how important it is to get that focus back.

And most of all, I get back into the season. Back into the refereeing mode. I can’t wait for my first friendly as center referee on Tuesday. And on the 26th of August I get my first official (cup) game. How is the start of your season?

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