Friday, June 5, 2009

Lessons Learned Through Experience

More thoughts and comments from the referees of the 2009 Development Academy Spring Showcase

Hello from the airport in Sarasota. As the tournament is playing its last games I am at the airport awaiting my flight home. U.S. Soccer calls this the spring showcase but at times it felt like the middle of summer here in Florida. We had a large group of referees working this showcase. It was good to watch the referees work and show their stuff. It was a joy sitting with them after their games and discussing situations that took place in their games. They wanted to know if they handled the situations correctly or what they could have done differently next time. I give them credit for wanting to learn and get better.

I can remember coming through the ranks and some of the most memorable moments were the times spent hanging out. It is good to be in the lobby of the hotel or out watching a game and having referees wanting to spend time talking about refereeing. Don’t get me wrong, the games are great and that is why we are there but so much more can be learned from talking about the game.

I can remember at the winter showcase in Lancaster, not many of the referees took advantage of having experienced referees around. That was not the case during this spring showcase. All of us full timers tried to spend as much time as possible in the lobby of the hotel so we could be available to all the refs.

I would like to make a suggestion to those coming to the summer showcase in North Carolina: it is important to eat properly and hydrate often. If I was going there to referee (and this might likely happen) I would start hydrating a week in advance. What does that mean? I would double my fluid intake of water and Gatorade. I would shoot for 2 gallons of fluids a day and would be sure to keep hydrating on the plane.

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