RefSix

Endurance Across Many Days

CanuckRef

Active Member
Level 3 Referee
I have just come back from the U17 National Championships in Canada and while I had a lovely time, my performance overall was incredibly disappointing. In particular, my first three matches went extremely well, my assessments were very good, but my performances got progressively worse over the course of the next 4 matches.

I have chalked this up to a fitness and mental focus issue as the matches I has earlier in the tournament were sometimes more objectively difficult matches. While I am reasonably fit to officiate any single match, I found my fitness waning after several days of matches in succession; likewise, I can definitely focus and concentrate sufficiently for 90 minutes, but as the tournament went on, and I grew more and more tired, my concentration diminished fairly significantly.

The question I have for you lads is simply how i might adapt a training regime to improve my fitness over many days, in particular my recovery after a match. Usually, I get multiple days (a week, normally) between demanding assignments, but at tournaments like a national championship, I am assigned at least one match every day for six days and these are very important matches as they really are where promotion to the next level is determined. Any advice for next year as I expect to be invited back?
 

Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
If you don't train every day (which few people do) then your body is always going to suffer when you put it through 90 mins of cardio vascular work every day for 6 days on the trot. There's not really much more you can do outside of maintaining a decent level of all-round fitness and eating the right foods and ensuring you get at least 7 hours sleep each night. The only real way to increase your endurance is to run further for longer around 6 weeks before the competition. Your stamina will improve as a result. During the competition, look to eat complex carbs the day/night before rather than simple carbs. Pasta, baked potato, rice, bagels - that sort of thing. Complex carbs are stored and released slowly as energy to convert to glycogen over a longer period of time than other carbs, particularly sugary ones. Basically, prior to the tournament, train and eat more like a distance runner than anything else. :cool:
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
The question I have for you lads is simply how i might adapt a training regime to improve my fitness over many days, in particular my recovery after a match.
Personally I wouldn't want to overdo it with training. I've done three 90 minute matches over two days and that was genuinely exhausting, I think it is important that people get a rest, it's pretty unfair to be doing six in six days IMO.

But, advice I've seen regarding concentration etc is to ensure you take on a lot of water. I was advised that you should be getting on 1L of water at half-time ideally and preferably you'd be getting some fluids onboard in the middle of the match, but that's unlikely unless you have a physio coming on with some water for you.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Personally I wouldn't want to overdo it with training. I've done three 90 minute matches over two days and that was genuinely exhausting, I think it is important that people get a rest, it's pretty unfair to be doing six in six days IMO.

But, advice I've seen regarding concentration etc is to ensure you take on a lot of water. I was advised that you should be getting on 1L of water at half-time ideally and preferably you'd be getting some fluids onboard in the middle of the match, but that's unlikely unless you have a physio coming on with some water for you.
I've mentioned this before but it really is down to the individual. As a guy who's nearly 36, and who has played sports all my life, i will do three 90 minute games this weekend and I don't find it in any way difficult from a fitness perspective. 6 games in 6 days isn't unfair or exhausting if you're fit enough to do it. It's far, far less physically demanding than when i was playing. If I want to improve as a referee then I have to work hard on learning law etc (something I find far more demanding than fitness). The mental fortitude required is harder than the physical one and that's what I need to work on to be a better referee. If your physical fitness isn't what you need it to be then there's only one way.

There's loads of handy tips regarding diet and fluid intake etc, but 99% of increasing your fitness is to work harder and more often. It's a mental thing more than equipment or diet etc.
 

santa sangria

RefChat Addict
I have just come back from the U17 National Championships in Canada and while I had a lovely time, my performance overall was incredibly disappointing. In particular, my first three matches went extremely well, my assessments were very good, but my performances got progressively worse over the course of the next 4 matches.

I have chalked this up to a fitness and mental focus issue as the matches I has earlier in the tournament were sometimes more objectively difficult matches. While I am reasonably fit to officiate any single match, I found my fitness waning after several days of matches in succession; likewise, I can definitely focus and concentrate sufficiently for 90 minutes, but as the tournament went on, and I grew more and more tired, my concentration diminished fairly significantly.

The question I have for you lads is simply how i might adapt a training regime to improve my fitness over many days, in particular my recovery after a match. Usually, I get multiple days (a week, normally) between demanding assignments, but at tournaments like a national championship, I am assigned at least one match every day for six days and these are very important matches as they really are where promotion to the next level is determined. Any advice for next year as I expect to be invited back?
Learn the warm up that works for you and don't let late ARs or distracted team officials get in the way of the 8-10-12 minutes you need.
Drink loads.
If you have a problem get professional advice. If you want to learn how to run better get professional advice.

My experience - and apologies as I've riffed on this before - when I first started refereeing (season 7 now) after one grassroots game I would ache for three days. If I played football - low level with ro-ro subs - I'd ache really bad all week! I've done 50-100 games a season since then. More importantly I got some professional help on how to run better. And I realised I have to drink a lot. I often drink close to 2L across a "proper" game. On a competition day in the sun closer to 4L.

I'm 46 and I don't ache the next day anymore. TBH I didn't think it was possible and it makes me very happy! And I can basically run all day, which is handy for competitions and picking up extra games.

Concentration is a different beast. I find a game after work is much harder to tune into as opposed to a second serious game. Again, a proper warm up environment where I am switched to referee mode for close to an hour makes all the difference to tuning out of work. I've found no problem concentrating for whole days in competition environments where it's all focus and no distractions. That said, with two or more serious back-to-back whistles it's the last 20 minutes I've really noticed - brain starts to say "save your legs" and wants to change the movement/positioning risk taking. Mouth wants to be economical. What I'm coming to understand is to fight those urges - in those last 15-20 minutes of the second game - just relax and keep doing what you know best. Others with more experience may have better approaches to how to deal with this.
 
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