Development of Psychological Preparation Program for Football Referees: Pilot Study

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Successful football referees should have an excellent ability to cope with competitive stress. Therefore, psychological preparation is a necessary component for improving referees’ professionalism and optimal performance. This paper focuses on two main objectives: (1) Developing a Psychological Preparation Program specifically for football referees; (2) Evaluating referees’ behavior in precompetitive routine and during a football match before and after exposure to the Psychological Preparation Program. Thirty football referees participated in a newly developed Psychological Preparation Program which included three parts: Educational (i.e., lectures and self-evaluation), Acquisition (i.e., individual meetings and development of preperformance routine), and Evaluation (i.e., self-evaluation and assessing referee’s activities during a match). As a result of the program and based on referees’ self-evaluation, it can be concluded that our Psychological Preparation Program has a positive impact on the self-confidence of referees and their ability to cope with competitive stress. Future directions and suggested topics are discussed.

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