With the beginning of summer comes the beginning of a whole new season of soccer. This season doesn’t involve league games, but instead is a time where everyone is on the hunt for gold, whether it is at State Cup, Regionals, or even the National Tournament. What most people may not realize is that the players aren’t the only ones involved in this process, the referees are too. Refereeing is something that has had a huge impact on my life for the last five years. To many, it may seem as if the referees just show up to work the games, but there is much more than you may see in the 90 minutes on the field. In the end, it’s all about giving back to the game.
We train to referee, we don’t referee to train.
Although it is great exercise to referee, this isn’t our method of training. Many referees follow a strict workout plan depending on the level of games they are doing along with the schedule. Not only is the fitness of the referee testing during games; it is also tested by use of a fitness test. Training is a must.
We’re working to get to the next level, just like the players.
Whether it’s getting a final at a tournament or a spot traveling to regionals, we’re all working towards something. Going into each game, my mindset is to do better than the last. At this point in the season, you realize there is always someone watching your games, whether it is the head of the tournament or a peer mentor, why not show them your full potential? That’s how you become successful.
Nothing is greater than success.
In this world, success can come in many levels. It may be getting assigned a final at the State Cup Tournament, or it may be getting assigned your first professional game. Walking out under the lights to hear all of the fans cheering confirms that the hard work has paid off.
It’s not just a job, it’s a family.
Together, we go through some great times and we go through some harder times, just as any family should. At the end of the day, the bonds between the referees within the state and the delegations outside of the state are something unmatched. The inside jokes are endless, as are the memes. Even though we may only see some only one or two times a year at big tournaments, we pick up like we never left off. This family can be so close knit based on one thing, a love for the game.