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I’ve been working and developing our young people, adults, and people as a whole for decades. My passion for refereeing and football is a great area I love to be involved in, and having two wonderful kids who excel in sport, in refereeing and playing and now coaching, its been great for them and then their friends around them, who were continually equally encouraged to be the best they can be.

Working in education amplifies this and a man-management ability, working directly with hard to reach families, and really hard to reach children is a challenge its also a very rewarding challenge with numerous ups and downs. With people skills seeing the bigger picture helps and when I’m out on the football pitch, body language, tone of voice, change of plan, always have a plan B. My disciplinary count as a referee is probably lower than average it doesn’t mean I am right it also doesn’t mean I have a high tolerance level. I put it down to starting to manage the game from the moment I receive the appointment.

Communication is key, it’s vital as a referee its vital at home, and its vital at work. People do not have to agree with your communication but it’s amazing how the situation is improved by saying something, doing something, taking action.

I mentioned earlier how refereeing starts from the appointment, with a polite reply to the person appointing you. Club secretary’s normally responded or at grassroots clubs have a match arranger. They will ensure you have directions and kick-off time. This is great to start your man-management, Thankyou for the directions and kick-off time, Look forward to seeing you on ****. I and the team will arrive at approximately *****.

You will be aware the league has sent out reminders regards jewelry not allowed to be worn, if you can remind your players this will be fantastic, so we can have a prompt start for a great game of football.

In March I had a meeting in London, not only was the meeting confirmed but so was the train I would be arriving on, and the approximate time of my arrival. Most people in London will tell you the best way to their office with this information, or to the meeting place you have chosen. Ask questions, will I have access to a screen and wifi, it’s ok if not I’ll have my laptop and I’ll bring a dongle….Its good manners, good practice and avoids any issues in advance.

If the weather is bad or forecast to be not so good the day before a game, you can get in touch with a team yourself, communication is a two-way street, just like respect. Find out regards the chances of the game going ahead and agree a plan going forward. The Manager/coach will appreciate your proactiveness, they are busy people and you’re supporting their role.

On matchday, as referees, as business people, we all know about the curveball, the one you may not have seen coming, but you’ve already eliminated other issues you may have already faced, so the curveball will have your focus and attention.

In refereeing, your preparation also helps, when a player has jewelry on, and you can ask politely to remove as soon as you mention you’d communicated this earlier in the week, the coach will do the rest for you, he or she will now be supporting you.

During the game, you cannot explain every decision, but key ones you certainly can, how much do you communicate in your business with your staff? Do you tell them what you are doing, or ask staff how to solve an issue?

Clear body language, clear and varied whistle tone, clear signals help you “sell” a decision. A small tip for match control, work on the hardest to control, compliments quick chats as you pass them, positive or funny. It’s amazing how the game goes after this. Can you relate this in the workplace, of course, you can, a toxic workplace is horrendous for everyone, does no good for anyone to be involved in it. Win over the most influential person in the office, and improve your work environment, but remember you can’t be popular all the time and plan B for a referee normally results in the colour yellow or red. In a workplace, it results in the same, disciplinary action, it’s not fun, but it’s a necessary evil.

Refereeing is a terrific attribute to anyone’s CV, I do not know the proportion of professions referees follow, however, I do know lots are teachers and police officers. Two of the hardest careers with the hardest of hobbies.

I write this as an experienced match official who knows their level in the game and a business owner who has a great goal in life, which covers helping and supporting as many people as possible. In refereeing its rewarding volunteer work, in business its normally paid rewarding work to help people and businesses grow. (I have to live)

If you require help and support in any capacity, feel free to get in touch

Tel: 0114 551 8181 or send a message


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