Monday, June 2, 2014

Remember Kids ... Stay In School

Over this last weekend I had the rare and prestigious opportunity to give the keynote address to the refereeing core of the 2014 Massachusetts State Cup.

Our topic was "Command Presence" and seemed to resonate well with the group who, as I scanned the room, were fully engaged in the topic.

Speaking with a few folks throughout the weekend it was great to see that many of these referees were substantially on their way in a career. More than a few asked about work/life/refereeing balance and how I did it when I was a youth referee that eventually transitioned to the professional game.

I was more than happy to share my opinions of the difficulty of maintaining everything at once, but was also thrilled that most are seeing refereeing as a really good paid hobby (my words not theirs).

As I have said here before several times, refereeing soccer in the US is not a sustainable full time profession. Yes, I recognize there are a very few who do this for a living, but understanding what some of the salaries are, I personally ask if it is worth it ... and I certainly don't think it is a sustainable model.

I was reminded of all of this recently when I caught an article about Emma Watson graduating from Brown University. Here is a person that in all likelihood does not need to worry about too much by way of a career given her accomplishments to date, but she clearly recognized the importance of education, or a trade, and clearly took it to heart with her recent degree.

Read this now, believe me later, refereeing is not going to pay all your bills in the future ... go to school or learn a trade, and referee for fun without the pressure of needing that next assignment for a paycheck. You will be better off as a person and a referee.

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