Being in charge of twenty-two players can be a difficult task at the best of times for just a single person. Then you have to take into account substitutes, club officials and sometimes even supporters, who all add their own pressures to the game. When you’re that lonely single person, the referee, there’s nothing wrong in asking for a little support and guidance in the form of a Referee Mentor to help you through your development as a match official.
Most mentoring takes place on an informal basis and more experienced referees are always willing to share information, ideas and advice at society meetings, grounds or even by telephone. There is sometimes a need, however, for more structured schemes, particularly for new referees and for officials seeking to progress to the higher echelons of the game.
Any referee can apply to have a Mentor, and it could be argued every match official should have one in some shape or form. You can even be a Mentor as well as being mentored as the spirit of sharing information and experience is the main key to the scheme.
People progressing to more senior levels of the game are often ‘taken under the wing’ of someone who is officiating or who has officiated at higher rungs on the ‘refereeing ladder’. There is even a formal scheme for each referee at the highest level in this Country to have his or her own ‘coach’ to provide such assistance.