Wiltshire FA are looking to recruit a number of Referee mentors who provide support and advice to trainee and newly qualified match officials.
Referee mentors will play a huge part in the practical development of officials at all stages of their refereeing career; from newly qualified referees to those officials seeking to climb the promotion ladder.
What makes a good mentor?
The key characteristics of a good Mentor are friendliness, approachability and patience. Experience as a referee is helpful but it’s not necessary for this to be particularly lengthy. In many ways, someone who qualified a year or so ago will be an ideal Mentor for someone who is newly-qualified as the issues that challenge a new referee will still be fresh in the mind of the Mentor. Even if the Mentor doesn’t know the answer to every particular question, he or she will normally know who can provide it.
Mentors will be allocated a trainee referee who has successfully completed the practical and theory parts of the Basic Referee Training Course and is ready to begin their initial six matches. You will need to contact the trainee/and or their parents and make yourself available as someone they can call upon for help, advice and support.
We ask our mentors to try and watch at least one of the trainees initial six matches and give informal feedback afterwards. The key points for any Mentor to remember when watching a referee are to:
- Being positive
- Asking the referee how he or she feels about the game
- Congratulate the referee on the three strongest features of his or her game, encouraging them to maintain those strengths
- Discuss possible solutions to the weakest feature of the referee’s game
- Three strengths but only one weakness? Yes. Mentoring is all about encouragement!
How does it all work?
Your relationship with the trainee is ongoing and not limited to you occasionally watching their matches. It is important that you are accessible for the trainee whenever the need arises. Emails are a good way of communicating but it is important to have more direct contact either face to face or on the phone from time to time. You could also consider inviting the them to refereeing events at RA’s, or setting up mentoring clusters with the help of the Referee Development Officer/League Appointments Officer
What we ask from you?
- From time to time we arrange evening training sessions for mentors. This training is approved by The FA and once you have attended the session your record as a referee will be updated to show mentoring as a qualification.
- We ask all of our mentors to attend an initiation course when they can and it is free of charge.
- We ask mentors who are allocated trainees under 18 years old to have up-to-date CRC checks and Safeguarding Children certificates (these should not be more than three years old).
- These will be provided free of charge should an individual need them.
What will you get in return?
Beside the intrinsic rewards of helping people develop, there is a payment of £10 per individual that you mentor. The £10 fee is to provide support through their first six games – with a visit, and then offer ongoing support through their inaugural season.
How do I get involved?
We will be very pleased to hear from any referee who is interested in becoming a mentor. Please contact Wiltshire FA via Kevin.Small@WiltshireFA.com. It will involve and informal face to face in the first instance.