Perspective is a powerful thing. Back in the day my parents would remind me often that I not only have to beat my opponent, I have to beat the referee also. Not only that, but I must treat the referee with respect at all times.
I’d love to say I’ve always listened to, respected, and never complained about referees. I’d love to say it but it wouldn’t be true. At times I’ve gotten very frustrated with referees. The Fail Mary, Packers v Seahawks on 9/24/12 immediately comes to mind. I’m fairly certain I wasn’t in agreement with, respectful of, or pleased with the referee in that moment.
Dominic is now in his third year of being a soccer referee. Ever since he’s taken on that challenge it has really opened my eyes to what referees do.
In watching him ref I see how quickly he has to process a situation and make a call. I always thought soccer was a pretty simple sport until I asked Dominic to explain the
rules laws of offsides. He shared that we didn’t have the three hours required to help me understandably the possible variables and situations. After learning more I’m amazed that referees can make some of the calls they make with as fast as the game moves and the number of things they have to observe at all times.
Since Dominic’s become a referee it’s really opened my eyes to what referees have to deal with on a Dailey regular basis. Think about it, on almost every call (or non-call) you’ll most likely had disagreement from at least 40% of the crowd. Regardless of how right the call is there will almost always be someone who disagrees with it, often verbally.
To put yourself into that type of position is crazy. It’s also an incredible way to build resiliency. What an awesome way for him to develop the ability to make quick decisions and then stick through them. Talk about life skills that will stick with him.
I thoroughly enjoy talking with Dominic after one of his games to hear how the coaches, players, and spectators reacted – for better and worse. It helps me learn to do a better job as a spectator and a parent of a player.
It’s fun to hear him after the games he plays to hear his take on the referees – for better and worse. It’s interesting to hear his analytical take mixed sometimes with a little player bias.
I also love having a resource to go to when I’m not sure what the right call actually is. This weekend that call involved asking about a “redo” of a throw in that never enters the field of play. I’ve learned so much more about the game since he’s become a referee.
So many wonderful reasons to be thankful for having a son who’s a referee. He’s learning so many wonderful life skills that will serve him well. Dominic is also helping me to be a better spectator and parent, something we can both be appreciative of!
Please do me a favor the next time you’re at a sporting event. Go out of your way to thank a referee for taking on an almost thankless job. They will smile huge and appreciate the gesture.