What qualities do you need to be a fit referee? Fitness can be defined in many diffferent ways, depending on the individual and the conext in which it being described. However, what we can say for sure is fitness can be defined much more specifically for an individual sport or activity. The first relates to a personal attitude which really is down to individuals and whether you use refereeing to keep up your level of fitness. The second really depends on your commitment to reach higher levels of refereeing. As you progress in refereeing, moving from local leaves into semi-professional football, the demands on referees are greater and with that a higher level of fitness is required.

Looking at fitness the following seven components are the foundations of fitness for any activity:

  • Muscular Endurance - The ability of a muscle group to repeatedly lift a load over an extended period of time.
  • Aerobic Endurance - The ability of an athlete to take in and use oxygen, allowing participation in prolonged periods of continuous sub-maximal activities.
  • Speed - Can be defined as the production of repeated muscular contractions over a short distance within a minimal period of time.
  • Flexibility - The range of motion about a joint (static flexibility); opposition or resistance of a joint to motion (dynamic flexibility).
  • Strength - The maximal pulling force of a muscle or muscle group in a single maximum voluntary contraction.
  • Body - Two of the main components of the body.  These are mainly fat and fat-free mass.
  • Agility - The ability to change direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner.

Their specific needs and use will differ greatly in some cases, but the components remain the same whether the activity be climbing the stairs, refereeing in grass roots football, or refereeing on the Premier League.

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