Week 3

Since I won’t have too many games over the next few months (relative to a summer season), I’ve decided to reflect more closer on games I’ve had over the past two years here. Keep an eye out for those posts. It’s always a surprise on how much you can learn from a 90 minute experience. My aim is to flush this out which should ultimately prove that quality is better than quantity in development and that ample rest and recovery as well as time off are key to development.

Mid-Week Training

Game #1 was earlier in the week so I had the better part of the rest of the week to recover. My legs were sore the day of and after but I felt much better after a stretching session on the second day. I did my run of the week that day (Wednesday) and to test conditions, I picked an evening run down my usual 4.5km route. I set-up the virtual pacer on my Garmin to see if I could compare it with previous runs.

This watch has really been a game-changer. I don’t listen to music while running because sometimes, I find it too much of a distraction and prefer to keep close concentration on my technique and breathing. Every so often, I would raise the watch up to look at my pace, heart rate, distance travelled and how I was doing compared to previous runs. Unfortunately I had no clue what the Garmin virtual pacer was trying to tell me since I beat my previous time by two whole minutes. I also remembered overtaking at least a dozen people.

It was a good run. My heart rate was lower and I completed it faster. It did take me a while to cool down however and stretch my muscles out before I was back to normal. The rest of the week was meant to be off running as I led into the next week with back-to-back days of match appointments.

Meanwhile during the week, I had more conversations with referee assignors and most deferred appointments to February. I’m set for more travel next week with a short hiatus in refereeing for a couple of weeks. Will have to make up with some light training.

G Poll

I stumbled upon this video that was interesting to watch of Graham Poll. You can find all the subsequent parts on YouTube and the message is very powerful. It’s clear to see his emotions when he is at the peak of his career and makes his high-profile mistake (the third yellow card at FWC 2006).

I think this has inspired me to transfer this over to a private video blog eventually. This blog can’t go on forever. I’m sure you knew that! It takes a lot of time writing these posts. I don’t think it’ll happen very soon but that’s what I have in mind for the time-being.

Madrid Derby

The Madrid derby was the match of the week to watch. More impressive than the game play however was Mateu Lahoz’s management of the game. I find his style dangerous to try to replicate because his reputation now helps him keep control of the game. A lot of this can be seen by his body language. All-in-all, he had excellent match control on what had the potential to be a very difficult game.

I had particular admiration for his management towards the end of the second half. RMA players began to come in with reckless fouls out of frustration of the large score deficit but the players were managed with his personality, accepted their punishment and the attention shifted from the referee to the players almost magically. I have yet to understand how this happens. I’ve seen this happen in-person with only one other referee. Player acceptance was definitely key here but in my other example, the referee officiating the league final was able to deflect the dissent and blame directed his way back onto the players. This was done so elegantly that the mood of the game was never negatively affected. It was also very subtle, above all, which made it difficult to understand how exactly it was executed. I need to observe more closely.

I think this successful management style will work well for Lahoz in the Spanish game but will be interesting to see when it comes to European club competition now that he is on the UEFA Elite list.


I also managed to find myself a black long-sleeve warm-up shirt! Score. It’s taken me a while to find this.


I think I’ll need it where I’m heading. Oh. Did I mention? I got the job offer from the Week 50 and accepted it. Looks like I’ll be having a complete change of scenery!

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