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How to make a good impression as a referee

Every athlete wants to be seen and appreciated, especially by someone as important as the referee. Treat every athlete in a respectful way, because everything that gives you attention grows. And get you back!

Emphasize during and after the match the positive that every athlete contributes. It is obvious that you do this among the captains and players who stand out, but also try to see and appreciate other athletes. Also ask for feedback yourself. You learn from that and you give someone the chance to give you a compliment.

Take into account the – mostly good – intentions of each athlete. Some athletes remain emotionally calm and others react fiercely. It doesn’t always help to apply the rules straight away, because that can cause a situation to escalate. You can also first ask what is going on, that often works de-escalating and can give you new insights.

– Choose a quiet moment for a short conversation with a player, for example during a time-out or injury.

– Also make contact with athletes during the game in small gestures: a smile, eye contact or a simple nod can do a lot.

– Inform an athlete who is in pain or angry, because athletes appreciate it when they feel heard.

– Also focus your attention on the more inconspicuous or quieter players, because from them you can expect a lot of mutual appreciation and respect.

– Show understanding for the different emotions of athletes. When the tension rises, emotions can run high and it is sometimes better to ask a question first, such as ‘What is going on?

– In case of disagreement, ask focused, but also open questions to athletes. For example ‘How can we prevent this from happening from now on?

Another part of bettering your game is impeccable communication with your team members, so you make the right choices and you don’t leave players waiting for too long. With football communication systems you can perfectly communicate and make sure you make the right calls, so athletes can enjoy the game as good as possible.