Mental Strength

Many mental attributes are required by referees in order to maximise correct decision making as well as minimising conflict. Skills such as staying focused, determined, as well as remaining controlled whilst under pressure are all beneficial for football officials, and can be improved.

Goal setting will ensure internal motivation is high for match officials, therefore leading to greater determination. Examples of such goals may include to eliminating incorrect decision making or becoming accredited at a higher referee level. Additional factors to improve determination are personal belief, physical and mental rest and keeping perspective.

To improve focus, officials can undertake a range of exercises. Simulation training (including imagery), positive/effective self-talk, performance routines and concentration exercises can all be utilised by referees in preparation for performance. Consistent practice will help referees remain focused during matches and therefore be beneficial for overall performance.

Pressure situations within matches challenge referees to perform at their highest. Maximising decision making in all areas is important however particular stress is placed on crucial decisions such as awarding goals or penalty kicks. To improve the control of referees, practicing to maintain a focus on the present and disregarding past errors will aid referees in their ability to achieve this. Again, concentration exercises will help to eliminate the influence of internal and external distractors during times of pressure from players, coaches and internal sources.

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