Major League Soccer
US Soccer

Hawkey pleased with progress

March 20, 2013

Sports Scientist Matt Hawkey says he is pleased with the work and progress that has already been made at the Professional Referee Organization.

The 34-year-old joined PRO in December 2012 and believes the work carried out thus far, since its inception, has been a success.

And he insists that the fact that PRO is a new organization makes the challenge ahead all the more exciting. 

He told “Everything with PRO has been tremendous so far.

“It’s a work in progress, for sure, but we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to do some really high level work, from a sports science perspective in particular.

“With an understanding of the standards that have been set around the world, and because we are starting fresh and able to pave our own path, we’re allowed a unique opportunity to go above and beyond those set standards and dictate our own current and future levels of success.”

Prior to working in the sports science field, Hawkey was a collegiate-level coach for 10 years.

He then embarked on a career in sports science which led him to PRO, alongside many experienced professionals, who he believes make a “brilliant team”.

And although his department remains a small part of the operation, he believes it will develop in due course.

“As we grow with PRO, and we try to reach out to the referees across the country, I think my department will evolve dramatically.

“Working with Paul Rejer on training and development, and Peter Walton, who is a fantastic General Manager, as well as Mike Kennedy, who has a really unique role as Referee Manager, has been a great learning experience.

“I think we all have some very different backgrounds and because of that, it’s going to be interesting to see how everything develops.”

The relationship between Hawkey and the officials is an important one, too. 

He is enjoying working with the group, despite there being some geographic obstacles, which he is relishing overcoming.

“The Officials are impressive. I think they really appreciate the fact they have a full-time resource they can go to, to help them monitor progress and improve from a physical standpoint. 

“Our communication on daily basis is really unique - I think that even when I was working with teams on a daily basis, we had less communication than what I do with these guys. 

“Part of what I’m learning, and enjoying, is how to take each individual’s personal scenario and give them the undivided attention needed to fit their needs. With the geographic diversity of the group, it’s a very challenging, but exciting, task. 

“Through our state-of-the-art technology we’re utilizing, combined with frequent communication and basic training principles, we’ve gotten ourselves off to a good start in determining where we want to improve. We will continue to implement best practices as future discoveries are made.”

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