Sunday, April 5, 2009

Putting Together My To-do List

I had my first U-19 boys league game yesterday. The teams were not playing in one of the highest divisions, but sometimes, it's the lower ranked teams that can be more problematic.
In general terms, the game was not particularly challenging. Red only had 1 or 2 available subs and black had none. It was a very, very windy day, so it was going to be tough for the teams to put together more than a couple of passes and I suspected their play might be a little slower than normal, given the lack of bench relief. Most of the tackles in the first half, and for much of the 2nd half, were clean. In fact, very few were even close to foul play. That said, there were some things that should have grabbed my attention. For example, one player on black was playing quite aggressively. For the most part, his play was trifling at worst. I used my best man-management skills in talking to him once or twice to let him know I was watching and he needed to dial his play back some. In hind sight, I should have been calling more of his play foul, and probably could (should?) have cautioned him for persistent infringement.
The only incident in the game, which I probably could have avoided, was a bit of a mass confrontation in added time of the 2nd half. The rough player mentioned above came in hard on a red player, charging him off the ball. I was maybe 15 yards away. Red responded with a hard push to the back. I blew the whistle and made my presence immediately known by coming to the spot and commanding players to separate immediately. I cautioned the red player for the push to the back, but failed to caution black. Again, in hindsight, I failed in this regard.
The positive result of this match is I've identified the areas I need to concentrate on in preparation for being assessed. I need to work on foul recognition. I think I need to start cautioning earlier, or set the bar a little lower for what I think qualifies as a caution and I need to pay much closer attention to who did what in a mass confrontation situation. If you have suggestions for ways to improve in these areas, let me know. For now, I have my to-do list and I need to start checking these items off.

1 comment:

CSR said...

Another good post. Something to consider. . .if you call the smaller stuff early in the match, you send the tone that you're not going to tolerate it. That should mean that you have less of it to deal with as the match progresses and as a result, it should reduce the level of "heat" in your match.
When dealing with your problem player (in Black), I'd say have a word but if that doesn't work don't wait to step it up even if to a good arse-chewing - loud enough that everyone knows you're seeing what he's doing and he knows he has to stop. When you do that, you send a clear message that he is responsible for his own play. And the sooner you can get him to cut it out, the less likely his opponents will feel they have to take matters into their own hands - again, reducing the level of heat in the match. But don't forget that cards are only one way of managing a match. . .presence, personality, private words, and public/loud words all have a part to play in match management.

As you found out. . .once the genie is out of the bottle, it's very tough to get him back in :)

-- CSR