Mastering the Mental Game of Refereeing

Mastering the Mental Game of Refereeing

Nathan Sherratt

Nathan Sherratt is a football referee with an off the field story which he uses to inspire and improve the lives of referees of all ages and levels.  He is the managing director of The Third Team where he supports referees by making them aware about all things related to resilience and mental toughness to enhance their performance and improve their mental health. In addition, he works with schools, colleges, universities and in industry communicating similar messages through the vehicle of refereeing.

In today’s episode we discuss the most demanding job on a football pitch.  No not the role of the goalkeeper, but the referee.  It’s a job which rarely get any praise and requires a special type of person.  Someone who is very assertive, especially in those demanding pressurised moments. Someone who can take criticism, and a lot of it.   Someone who can handle abuse, and again sadly a lot of it.  

In this episode I chat with a referee and resilience trainer, Nathan Sherratt about his love of the job, how he manages his confidence, the challenges that referees face as we as his work at The Third Team.

Key Learning Points:

  • Mental toughness in referring terms is the ability to deal with the challenges are placed upon you.  For instance, when players try to gain an advantage by trying to make you question a decision that you’ve made.  
  • We’d rather take a deep breath and slow a game down, making sure that we come to the right decision than rush things and make the wrong decision.
  • As a referee you are always learning, there’ll be times when you come into new situations with different teams at different levels.   Managing your and others expectations is important then so that you deliver the best game you possibly can.
  • When players manipulate you, you’ve got to remain objective and consider how you want to control the situation, setting your stall.  Considering your body language, communication and authority.
  • Grounding and visualisation techniques can really boost you and make you feel more confident and relaxed before a game.  

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To Listen to Football or Soccer Podcast Episodes

Podcast Episode Ep43: Jamie Forrester – Thriving in Professional Football

Podcast Ep49: How Does Sport Psychology in Elite Football Academies Help – James Maurice

Podcast Ep51: Peter Ramage, Brendan Pearson and Julian Dowe – Why Talking Matters

Podcast Ep64: Edu Rubio – How to Support Young Footballers 

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David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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