Here are a few of my favorite things while reffing a game:
- Providing a professional experience. From the mechanics, communication and presence on the pitch, I want everyone on or off the field to feel they have been given their best by a referee who cares.
- Beating a midfielder up the pitch when a long ball is played. I was never considered fast and I certainly will not set any records in the 100 yard dash. But what I will do is give 100% effort to be in the right position on every given play. If that effort enables me to outrun a 15 year old kid in their prime physical shape, it is not beneath me to simply ask them if they saw how fast I ran.
- Playing a great advantage. This is really cliché, but it is a sign of experience and composure.
- Keeping the parents and coaches within an acceptable level of engagement and dissent. I try to pay it forward when I am in the center. Even if it may not offend me, I try to ensure that I create a positive and supporting playing environment for everyone. that includes the referees. If it requires me to stop the game to have a word with coaches or parents, so be it. I will not let Toxicity go unchallenged or unpenalized.
In general, I love everything about being a ref. It is my hobby and my personal passion. I love that the more you know about being a good ref, the more you find that you don't know. It is a never ending journey of learning and self-improvement.