It’s not often I take a weekday game but Thursday was an exception.
There’s something to understand here. It’s a privilege to referee a game where everyone comes prepared and takes it seriously. Back when I was officiating at the grassroots/house league, players often arrived late, not dressed consistently and generally not as focused getting into game mode. It made it feel as though you were the only person that really cared about the game and wanted to enjoy it.
It’s completely different seeing them arrive well over an hour before kick-off wearing the same training kit and display a very high level of conditioning and care.
That’s just what happened this Thursday. I accepted a game on the line with teams well above the level I was officiating. You know what? That hunger returned. If my mentality and belief were a glass window, it was smashed on Thursday because I had lulled myself into a comfort zone.
The games I was refereeing had become too easy and I had hit a ceiling believing that I had mastered a lot of the necessary skills. Watching the referee’s ability in the friendly, I knew I had just discovered a new level. Re-discovered rather because I had forgotten what refereeing at this level had been like.
The fog has lifted and the road is longer than I thought.
The weekend was chalked up to be busy since I had taken games on both days set out to be a bonanza and more running than I was normally comfortable with.