Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big Games Ahead

As different as MLS is from what we do every week, it is still fundamentally the game of soccer and therefore has some similarities. Many of us are winding down the season and preparing for the last few tournaments before we kick back for the winter. Others are getting ready for the State HS tournament or post-season college matches. Guess what? MLS referees are getting ready for the post-season, too.

Read the Week in Review 31 and see how each referee gets ready. Note that they prepare regardless of whether or not they know they are getting an assignment. Kevin Stott notes that "the idea of continuing to strengthen the referees must continue whether you are directly a part of the match or not." So get out there and provide feedback and, most importantly, support your fellow referees. Try not to be upset if you don't get the final match you had set your eyes on; instead, congratulate those who get the opportunity!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maintain During the Off Season

Seems like it was only a few months ago that the season was just beginning. Well, we are fast approaching the end. With the HS State Tournament ending next week and season play for other leagues drawing to a close, you might find yourself with more free time. Rest will be needed for many of us with injuries but take care not to rest too much.

You've worked hard during the season and established a fitness "base" even if you were only getting fitness from your games. The hardest part of working out is getting past the first few challenging runs where your legs hurt and lungs burn. Don't lose that base! Taking the time to exercise a few times during the week will ensure you are ready to go next year. Try some of these tips:

  1. Balance some recovery time with your workouts. With as many games as you've likely done this season you need to have a few off days.
  2. Mix it up. Add some bicycling, hot yoga, swimming or another low impact workout to your routine. Lifting weights can help strengthen your muscles and prevent injuries. Plus, don't different activities makes working out more enjoyable.
  3. Find a friend. If you find a workout buddy you're more likely to get a good workout and actually get out there to do the workout. Motivate each other to work hard!
  4. Set a goal. Maybe you want to better your fitness test results from last year or just feel better at the beginning of the spring season. Whatever it is, set a goal and work towards it.
A little work during the off season will pay off next year! If you are looking for some workout ideas geared towards soccer referees, click on this link. On Page 7 you'll find the article Fitness Workouts to Increase Speed and Endurance by Greg Dugas.