Reacting to Whistles vs. Anticipating
As a face-off midfielder who anticipates every time, you will never go over 60%. That’s just plain out too much guesswork. Refs these days are looking to keep the face off game in check. They will, in fact, change up their cadences in an attempt to keep both face-off midfielders honest to the whistle. This comes from the increasing amount of awareness as the “x” and the game within the game. The crowd is now interested in the face off which is leading to an increase attempt to televise and provide up close action of the face off itself. Therefore, we ‘fogos’ are left with the ever daunting task of trying to figure refs out. They cycle through a rotation of calling face offs to allow for a mixture of cadences. Waiting on the whistle until cadences can be timed is the best approach to keeping yourself in the winning column. The fact that a player waits for every whistle is a good thing. As a player continues on, they will start to understand that perfecting the physical aspect of face off (technique + repetition = Speed), will allow you to focus on refs and the mental aspect of a face off. That physical aspect stems from muscle memory, perfecting one move allows you to take your mind off your move and really focus on the cadence. Numerous whistles and repetition are needed to really elevate your game to a level where you dominate the “x” every time.