Ken Aston Camp: Day 1

I’m here at Chapman University in Orange for the 2011 AYSO Ken Aston Referee Camp, and from all indications it appears to be another referee clinic where more time will be spent haggling over interpretations of the Laws of the Game rather than instruction on how to properly administer said Laws.

I spent two-and-a-half hours (from about 7:30 p.m. to 10) listening to referees answer questions with questions and nay-say each other to the point of exhaustion, which is often the case at these gatherings. It’s almost as if teaching goes out the window in favor of argument.

Clearly, no one among us is an expert, and I in no way consider my knowledge greater than anyone else, but people spend more time talking than they do listening and it is frustrating.

Hopefully, tomorrow will provide me with greater inspiration and even some enhanced expertise. But I’m not going to wager a bet that it actually comes to pass.

One bright spot from this evening… Steve Wopershall, a senior master instructor of Verbal Judo, or The Art of Gentle Persuasion, made a presentation during the opening session. He was both entertaining and insightful in his method of instruction, and attempted to teach — in the short time he was alloted — methods on how to generate voluntary compliance from fans, coaches and players. It was easily the best instruction I’ve ever received on the topic in an AYSO forum.

Tomorrow: Instruction from 8 a.m. to 11:45 then it’s out the field for a clinic on positioning before we take the fitness test. Hopefully, all that interval training I’ve been doing on the elliptical pays off.

Good night!

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