Mind, body & soul should be in harmony. Alas.

Belated congratulations to Spain for winning Fifa World Cup 2010, South Africa!

Spain, World Cup 2010 Final: 1.Iker Casillas, 15.Sergio Ramos, 16.Sergio Busquets, 3.Gerard Piqué, 11.Joan Capdevila, 14.Xabi Alonso, 21.David Silva, 8.Xavi, 7.David Villa, 6.Andrés Iniesta, 5.Carles Puyol

Since the World Cup ended on 11 July 2010 as well as my personal involvement therein, I had a long break from football … and the keyboard. Much needed.  The 2009-2010 referee season was cut by almost 9 weeks to give some recuperation time for the 2010 World Cup players, certainly the shortest and busiest season experienced since I came onto the referee panel in 2003.

Time is now of the essence to get back onto the Premier Soccer League (PSL) referee panel for the 2010-2011 season, which kicked off in great style recently at the Cape Town Stadium with a double header. Newly promoted Cape Town team Vasco da Gama debut against Orlando Pirates, scored first but lost 1-2, while Ajax Cape Town got the better of Bloemfontein Celtic with almost 45,000 people in attendance at this magnificent stadium. The fan walk that worked so well during the World Cup did its magic again, with young and old showing the World Cup atmosphere certainly will not be a once-off for the mother city.

Alas, apart from suffering serious food poisoning during the World Cup, I tore a calf muscle 3 1/2 weeks ago doing some stamina (hill) reps in preparing for the obligatory Fifa fitness test at the start of a new referee season. My first serious injury in 17 years. My physiotherapist is doing wonders with the calf with numerous 5cm needles being pushed into “pressure points” to speed up the recovery.  A combination of eastern medicine pressure, western medicine ultra-sound & laser treatment, painful deep tissue massage (you really do sweat on a table without ever moving a muscle!) as well as regular gym work/swimming to keep fitness & stamina levels up for the oncoming Fifa fitness test,  are all doing  its magic on my calf muscle. This (balanced) treatment recovery program has even my physio astounded at the recovery speed. Healthy eating via wife’s Portuguese/Mediterranean cooking… well, her food should not be underrated in this sorry escapade.

I promised earlier to do Part II, Referee Body Language. Specifically, actual exercises to hone the referee’s body language style and repertoire to communicate with players on field. It will be forthcoming…very soon. Watch this space.

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