Copper Mountain Soccer Director of Coaching
Mark Probert loves the game of soccer and it shows. He’s been a part of the soccer world almost his entire life and has a wealth of knowledge to share, but that isn’t what makes him unique. Mark’s IREF training program is not only organized well, but his presentation is captivating, entertaining, and even humorous. The positive feedback has been overwhelming and the referees coming out of his program have been better prepared than in the past.
Mark is charismatic. From the moment referees walk through the door of his classroom, they are engaged. Mark uses slides for visual aides to help his referees learn, and his explanations for each one are buzzing with energy. He covers every law of the game and is thorough in each description and how it is adjudicated. Referees will often leave his class claiming they never knew about at least one of the laws, signals, or why a call is made.
Referees are involved and active in the IREF program. Not only does Mark interact with and get the referees participating during his slideshow overview, but he also has the referees step out onto the pitch to practice making calls and give the associated signals. He instructs them to be vocal throughout a game so the coaches and especially the players are aware of infractions being cited, but more importantly encourages referees to warn players of any conduct that might lead to dangerous play during the game in an attempt to prevent injuries from happening.
Mark prepares his referees to know how to handle a crowd, even rowdy ones. The work referees do is just as physically demanding as it can be emotionally draining. Mark teaches how to handle tough situations with players, coaches, and sidelines. He prepares referees for every eventuality and trains them to maintain control of the game for the good of the players.
The soccer clubs that have employed Mark Probert’s IREF program have more referees returning from season to season because they are better equipped for the job. They are either able to avoid the chaotic games that drive referees away or handle bad situations in a more capable way. Mark’s mentoring is supportive and empowering. Referees under his care receive ongoing tutoring and counsel as needed. The IREF program is impressive and one of a kind.
Copper Mountain Soccer Referee's
IREF has provided Copper Mountain Soccer with exceptional referee training for several years. The professional, hands-on and humor-filled sessions adequately prepare 50-60 youth and mentors each season for our U9-middle school games. The results on the pitch are clear: confident referees, consistent calls, and increased awareness to rules of the game. CMS has proudly watched several of its players gain experience through IREF then advance to state-level certification. How exciting! It's common for younger players to have their favorite refs, then ask when they can referee -- that speaks to Mark and his IREF program. CMS greatly appreciates its long partnership with IREF and the positive impact it continues to have on our youth referees, players and fans!
(THANK YOU, MARK!!)