Blog,  tips & tricks

Visualise game situations as match preparation

It’s not over yet with tips I got from the referee conference. I will share a longer blog post with rugby referee Alain Rolland’s story later. Now you’ll get one tip you will benefit from every game. Rolland’s advice: visualise game situations as match preparation.

Visualise game situations you need to judge in the future.
Visualise game situations you possibly need to judge in the future.
Ever wondered why top referees look so calm on the pitch?

“Some referees look so comfortably because they know what they’re doing”, Rolland says. And to be able to “read the game” a referee “needs to visualise game situations”, Rolland says. “Think about what to say during a match and how to say it.”

How is the Irish World Cup final referee doing that? He’s sitting “comfy on his sofa with no disturbances. Then I spend 20-25 minutes by thinking what you will say in certain situations. I’m exhausted after that period. I am forcing myself to think about what I need for that. This match preparation works for me.”

Please try it and share your experiences with me!

Do you have any specific technique or training that helps in your match preparation?


  • John

    Imagery is a very good technique, and surprised so few people actually use it. I’ve been using it all of my refereeing career and it works for me, also very useful in every day life too. It’s so simple and so effective, can be made even more effective by having crowd sounds playing at the same time as you use it, even just being in the same place or looking at a picture of the ground can help too.

    • jan (administrator)

      Thanks for the comment, John. It’s a very useful way of imagining how you would react in certain situations. How often do you do this?

      • John

        It can help you deal with situations you’ve never been in before, which is very useful when you’re on the field.

        I use it a couple of nights before the game, but for some big games I’ll start even earlier. For example, I’ve got a big game on the 14th and I’ve started using imagery already.

        In sone cases, it can be more beneficial than an actual workout!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.