Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Working with Another New Referee

Last weekend (yes, I'm a little behind), I spent 3 games working with a good friend of mine that I had not seen in a while and a new referee.  Long time readers know I like to work with new referees.  I think it's important to get them started in the right direction.  I think a positive first couple games for a new referee goes a long way in getting retention numbers higher.  I also think it's important to have someone that (presumably) knows what they are doing to get rid of a new referee's bad habits right away, before they become permanent.
This young lady did a good job.  She was my AR for our first game.  Like all newly certified teenagers, her mechanics were tentative as she was unsure of herself and clearly was horrified at the idea of making a mistake.  I got the impression fairly quickly she knew the laws pretty well and just lacked confidence.  We tried to build her up at half time and we noticed some improvement in the second half.  My buddy, working as the other AR, noticed she seemed to be getting caught up watching the game when the ball got close to her and he pointed out that she needed to stay on her offside line, given that offside is her first priority.  She adjusted to his advice and did better.
For the second game, my friend was in the middle and I was an AR.  We noted more confidence in her mechanics.  She was taking a second to come square to the field and give a better signal.  This seemed to give her a chance to get her direction right in her mind as well.
We had one list game.  I was the referee again.  This was the oldest teams of the day (14 year old boys) and the speed picked up a little bit.  This new referee did well.  She even signaled for a couple of fouls and she was correct.
By the end of the three games, she was clearly mentally tired, but she still had a smile on her face and seemed happy with the day.  Hopefully, she sticks with it and we see her again soon.  With any luck, we'll get her in the middle on a short sided game and see how she likes it.

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