VRRA Development Squad
Pre Match Preparation
; Pre match preparation is the basis of a good mental game plan. ; All good referees know what they need to do to referee well, but they need to make sure they do
it for every game.
; Sometimes the referee will be either too nervous o psyched up or too relaxed before games.
; It is important that the referee is aware of how to feel and prepare to run on to the field in the
ideal physical and mental state.
; Pre match preparation helps to excite and focus for the match. ; Everybody has a natural preparation they tend to follow. ; It is important that this becomes a planned part of their game.
We Prepare so that our actions
occur almost automatically
without causing us
the field under
stress, it doesn’t matter
how Physically Prepared you are, you have already lost the mental game!
Is this you on a Saturday???
; Saturday morning – 6:30 am
o alarm rings – hit snooze
; Saturday Morning – 6:40am
o alarm rings again – hit snooze
; Saturday morning – 6:50am
o alarm rings again – bloody alarm – switch off…
o “Ahh that’s more like it…”
; Saturday Morning - 7:15am – wake up drearily & look at clock.
o “What time was that appointment…bugger it’s at 9:00am…better get moving”
“Where’s my Strip…damm the sox are still dirty…oh well it’s just the sox”
“My whistle was here somewhere…..oh that’s right I stuck it in the freezer last
“Boots are a bit grubby but that’s OK”
; Saturday Morning – 8:00 am – #$%^&…where the hell did the last half hour go…!!
o “C’mon car start!! … Where is that game again??”
; Saturday Morning – 8:45am
o “Sorry coach…traffic was a mongrel…is it OK if I have a chat to the lads?”
; Saturday Morning – 8:50am
o “There now that’s done I’ll have a quick warm-up”
; Saturday Morning – 8:55am
o “Mate can I borrow a pen…mine just stopped”
; Saturday Morning – 9:00am
o “Yeah OK how about we get a start in 5…then!”
; Saturday Morning – 9:07am
o “Captains Ready?”
How do you think this referee’s match is going to go??
This referee is likely to have a challenging game…he’s not
adequately warmed up, his instructions to the teams were
very brief, and since he’s been on the rush all morning his
mind is probably not fully in gear for the match.
He is not prepared.
Three Goals for Good Preparation
One: Have a Routine
The key to pre match preparation is to try to prepare the same way every time. This needs to be a
little flexible, but the key points should remain no matter who or where you are refereeing.
; Work out when to start preparing for a match.
o Is it the night before?
o Training night?
o The day of the game?
; Identify what the key elements of preparation may be
o Getting gear ready - cleaning boots
o Visualizing the game / Thinking about the game
o When to get up?
o What / When to Eat
Filling in time / When to arrive at ground o
o Stretching, warm up, etc
; Determine what to do, and when it needs to be done
o To enable thorough preparation.
o Remember it is individual specific and should be natural and organized.
; Plan appropriate time frames for preparation.
; Ensure individual needs fit in with family needs and other commitments.
What is your Weekly Routine – A few things to think about!
; When does Rugby Start to Take Priority?
; When do you…
o Clean you kit?
o Clean your boots?
o Check appointments
o Read over law book?
o Speak to other refs?
o Pack your kit for the game?
; Game Day:
o When do you start to focus on match?
o How long before game do you arrive at field?
o When do you change?
o Speak to teams?
Two: Control Arousal
; The referee needs to control arousal levels and each of us will react
“How do you handle the Dreaded Butterflies”
; Some tips on psyching up and calming down are:
Psyche Up Relax\ Calm Down
; Listen to exciting music ; Listen to relaxing music
; Visualization- Imagine match situations, ; Visualization
Imagine best game ever ; Sit and talk to relaxed people
; Self pep talk ; Breathing techniques
; Talk to other referees ; Have a set preparation routine ; Set specific challenging goals ; Focus on game, three things to do well ; Have a more physical warm up ; Key words - Checklists
; Use key words
Three: Mental & Physical Preparation
; A Good pre match preparation involves both mental and physical preparation
; Mental preparation involves strategies such as
o Law Revision – early in week
o Self analysis of last game
o Key words - Checklists
o Match Day focus
; Warm up
; Physical – don’t hit the field cold
; Stretching – if it’s sore don’t ignore
; Relaxation techniques
; Focus on game elements
; Visualization ; All of these are essential to refereeing to potential.
Previous Preparation Prevents Piss – Poor Performance!
Comments From the “Experts”
Match preparation - Andre Watson
Every person prepares for any eventuality that he enters into voluntarily. To go to work, we set the alarm, get up and wash ourselves, eat, pack the briefcase (or toolbox), grab the wallet, get into the car and plan the route, then take off. It all requires planning: it may become routine, but it certainly started as a challenge.
Preparing to referee a game is based on the same principle as above and it astounds me that referees can go into a game without preparation, regardless of the level or grade.
I certainly prepare for every game and I believe I prepare well - as well as I have been taught and as best I can. In fact, I believe that it is in this area that I possibly do more work than any other referee I know. There is no doubt in my mind, and I make no secret of it, that this is my 'secret weapon'.
Proper match preparation for me includes: 1) physical training, 2) diet, 3) studying the laws, 4) understanding the reason for laws, 5) understanding the game, 6) preparing mentally and 7) being mentally tough.
; Physical training
Every day (including the day before the game when I will do upper body strength work).
; Studying the laws
? 1 hour a week.
; Understanding the laws
? 30 minutes a week (discussing them with colleagues, etc).
; Understanding the game
? 30 minutes a week (attending practices, talking to coaches, players, etc).
; Preparing mentally
2? hours a week (30 minutes Tuesday night, 1 hour Thursday night and 1 hour ? 2 hours before the game).
; Being mentally tough
Two 30 minute sessions during the week (lunch time, before going to bed, etc).
I believe the last two are possibly the 'newest' to most referees and yet I regard them as essential in order to 'sort the men from the boys'.
Pre Match – David Wall
I like to get to the ground to watch the game before me. Just to see how it is going, have a look and also to get the mind into thinking about what a game of rugby looks like. This is the main part of my mental warm up.
My pre-game chat is before I get fully dressed, getting dressed is my private time to think about things and focus so I like to have all the teams stuff out of the way and it means the teams can also do their stuff without me interrupting.
My pre-match talk always goes like this. (After doing the boots).
o You have all played front row before? Show me your binding and crouch
o Here is how the engagement sequence will happen...
o Halfback this is what I am going to do and this is how you will feed it.
o Captain what position are you playing?
o "We don't do this by committee. If your players have a problem they come to you and you come
to me." (this sets the tone for how I will treat him and he treats me and stops the backchat.) o Any questions?
o After they make the tackle get your guys rolling away quickly, that way we get clean rucks and
o Have a good game.
That is it really, they don't want to talk to me as they are thinking about the game but I find it works well because I have agreed on my relationship with the captain, and he knows what I want to concentrate on, tacklers releasing and rolling away, he knows I want clean open ball and there are no surprises when I start penalising for it in the first few minutes.
Hopefully just before they run out for the game as part of his pre-match talk he tells his guys, "make your tackles and roll away! We don't want to give away penalties!" I think planting that seed in their mind works.
Have a quick warm up. I don't like to do too much, I do it all within the in-goal section just to really get the muscles going and the heart pumping.
After that back to get the full kit on.
Think about my 3 goals for the game and relax, it will all happen in time.
There are a number of other superstitions for instance, I can't referee in my wedding ring, I have to have been to the toilet at some stage in the morning, I don't eat lunch, cards go in the left pocket with pencil and whistle in the right.
Also I do not get psyched up for a game. I try to relax and be calm not pre-judge what is going to happen. It is all going to happen soon enough and I am ready for it. And most importantly I like to have a smile and enjoy myself, before hand. This again puts me in a good frame of mind to enjoy the game.
Match Instructions – Darren O’Brien (First Grade Grand Final Referee 2003)
My pre-match is as follows:
; Front row, At the scrum I will call crouch and hold, when ready I will call engage, please do
not engage early and do not pull out.
When the scrum is steady and stationery over the mark I will allow the ball in. ; Front man at the line out if you help me set the gap I will not need to get involved and you
can go as quickly as you wish.
; Half back when ready I will step back from the scrum, please come in from my left hand side
and feed the scrum from at least a metre.
; Captain - please ensure your players communicate through you. I will talk as much as I can,
calling ruck, maul, hands off and so when I can, if you listen and comply the game should go
; Have a good game fella's.
What do you say to the captains at your Pre