Monday, August 12, 2013

Laser focus ... at 16?

So as many of you know, I am an amateur bike racer on the weekends ... well actually a lot more given the amount I train ... but compete on the weekends.

I was at a local criterium series the other day, and in the race I compete in, there are usually a group of very talented junior teams. These kids, and they are kids, are 14 - 17 years old, and are already tremendous riders that are very well coached.

I was talking to one of the coaches in what they are looking for in a young rider, and attempting to glean a parallel to young referees.

I was not disappointed.

He mentioned the #1 quality was that of commitment. Not genes, not "raw athletic ability", not a fancy bike that was bought for them, commitment and a desire to get better.

I reflected on my own career growing up and how, at times, I was supremely un-focused at 16 years old with my refereeing.

It can be somewhat "unnatural" in have someone at such a young age, have such a laser focus, particularly for something that will take a very long time to develop, like refereeing.

For the referees out there who are youths themselves, I salute you. It ain't easy growing up, and being asked to have such focus at such a young age.

For the referees who are a bit more seasoned, and working with these young referees, take some extra time and look out for these younger referees.

You might just make their day knowing they have a friend who has been there.


  1. Peter,

    You are so right. Attentive mentoring can make a huge difference a young referee's development and sense of commitment.


    1. Thanks Paul,

      Reflecting on my own career, it was a real eye opener to get a look at a young athlete from a mentoring perspective, and not the other way around.

      It was also, simply tremendous to do so, and I believe, while not my intent, that I took more away than they did.

      Thanks for reading,