“Being a mentor, also for hesitant referees” – Rodric Leerling

“Being a mentor, also for hesitant referees” – Rodric Leerling

Rodric Leerling, Leerling.biz, RefRod, Sportief Westfriesland

He showed all signs of a referee not eager to enter the arena. I had never seen that before but it was understandable considering his previous games. His slight form of autism made him react different on situations than most of us refs would.

He was on track of getting used to sudden changes in a game, and rules that are sometime in need of a flexible interpretation. But the previous U17 game stopped in its tracks even before the first whistle. The players – in his view – were simply way older than he was (15) and he acted like a horse refusing to jump a hurdle. He stayed in his dressing room and had refused to come out, redressed and went back home. And the game a week before this one was almost abandoned by him after having received too much criticism. He restarted and eventually made it to the end.

My task today was to check him out while reffing a younger age group than himself. See if he should be advised to stop this self-hurting ref training course. Or maybe grow with the age groups and become a good ref, but at a much slower pace than in this course.

After his initial hesitation to enter the pitch, he started the U13 game and ended it well. It must be said, it wasn’t a difficult game and everyone was friendly and accepted most of his decisions. In our short evaluation afterwards he didn’t bring in any game management elements he thought he could improve on. He was just too happy he made it to the end safely.

My report was positive about this game performance but contained a warning to the FA we might have to pull the plug as he will continue to act unpredictable and is too much concerned just about himself. I wish him all the best and hope he won’t bring unnecessary stress on himself for a sports hobby as refereeing just is.

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