The state of mind an official brings to a game can affect the atmosphere and outcome of the match.
If your day involves going to school or work, daily situations and interactions with people may affect your mood. If you arrive at a game with a negative attitude or a grouchy mood, it will affect the outcome of the match.
Whether it is for exercise, stress relief, money, recognition, or just to help a program, there are many reasons why people officiate. Regardless of the reasons, officials must guard against bringing negative thoughts and feelings to a match.
Officiating requires commitment and if other daily activities interfere with your ability to properly officiate, your career is in jeopardy. On the other hand if you arrive at a match with a positive attitude, free of conflicts and prejudices, you are on your way to a successful match and career.
If you find yourself tired, upset, preoccupied with school, work or family issues, you must use the time prior to the match to clear your mind and focus on the upcoming task.
Players, coaches and fans expect an official to be focused, fair, approachable and they want to see him/her hustling and working. You must expect to have your judgment questioned. It happens in every sport and every game, no matter what your mood is. If a legitimate question is asked in a respectful manner by a coach or player be prepared to answer it in a professional manner and do not let your temper or frustration allow you to overreact.
Refereeing in a relatively stress free and relaxed way will be more enjoyable for you and your positive attitude will in turn transfer to the participants.
After the final whistle you may actually find that you are leaving in a better mood than when you arrived.
Pat Ferre, USSF Referee Grade 15 Emeritus, USSF Referee Instructor, USSF Referee Assessor, USSF Referee Assignor
District-7 Youth Referee Administrator (DYRA)