U.S. Soccer, “Sports Psychology” and the Importance of Coaching
I was a U.S. Soccer I.D.S. athlete long before I even thought of officiating games. My goal in life is to work in the sports industry and work with the Olympics so that I can work alongside the world’s best athletes. Sports are a huge part of every career I’ve ever had. You’re either a part of it or you’re not. The President and CEO of Professional Referee Soccer USA, the national governing body for sports refereeing, John McArdle was featured in the FOX Business Network episode Talkin’ to the Presidents on Thursday, February 7, 2019, and sat down with Melissa Francis and Jenna Lee for a talk on what the past of US Soccer’s Managing Director of Events, Glenn Koch, and my experiences in becoming an I.D.S. certified Referee has taught me about the importance of coaching.
John McArdle, President and CEO of Professional Referee Soccer USA
Going into my freshman year in college, I was sure I knew everything about soccer. In fact, I thought that I knew everything. But then a fellow student came up to me one day and said: “John, what about a little sports psychology?” I was taken aback for a moment and actually didn’t know how to respond.
I know now that I can both lead and be led by someone else, and it’s that focus that has made the biggest impact on my life, my career, and my entire life path.
I’m a very social person, so the mentality of a personal tutor is very helpful to me. It’s also led me to address some of the toughest topics in sports right now, such as gangs, suspensions, and fan behavior.
The two situations where I would draw on my experiences as a kid were being demeaned by a parent/coach or being suspended for spray-painting my teammate’s wall while it was on the parents’ property. I experienced a lot of bullying and harassment growing up on Long Island, so I got really good at handling those situations.
As for how I learned it all in grade school, I don’t know. I think that was just part of being that age. Some people may get spoiled like me, but even those of us who are here today have learned the hard way that we don’t always have to make friends and people like us feel like everyone else.