Sunday, October 24, 2010

From the mouth of babes

Jr. and I were on our way to some event the other day and we were talking about his upcoming matches at the local indoor soccer facility near our town. He was generally excited, but stopped for a second, mid-description, and said something that make me think.

Jr.: You know what I really like about playing indoor?
PK: Because its fast paced?

Jr.: Nope. It's because of the referee. The one with the glasses.
PK: Really? What about him?

Jr.: He's very nice and takes time to help us when we have a question.
PK: Don't other referees do that?

Jr.: No. Only him so far.

Now I sat back and thought about all those youth matches I did, and wondered how those players perceived me. It was again a reminder that those little sponges out there are picking up on everything going on, and are taking notes along the way. Jr. has not seen this particular referee (who is really a nice guy) for almost a year, yet described him clear as a bell. Amazing.

It was also clear that the youth referee holds a particular responsibility in this regard as well, not only as ambassador of the game, but also teacher, as those little minds are looking to us as referees for how we treat the game, and its participants, in our position of authority.

I urge us all to teach them well. After all, they are the future of the game we all hold dear.


  1. And if anyone is under the illusion that adult players are not watching and remembering the referee.......

  2. Great point Nigel.

    Also true is that little players turn into big players.

    Some big players turn into professional players.

    Stick around long enough, and you will see a player go from U-8 to MLS right before your eyes.