It is never too early to start thinking about the upcoming season.
As a suggestion, take this time to work on one aspect of your umpiring to improve upon this year. This could be many different things for different people. It could be your strike zone, the way you call balls and strikes. You could work on your base mechanics, the way that you make safe and out calls at first base. It could be your positioning in the middle of the infield in the two different slots. It could be the focus that you have during the game, what you’re thinking about between pitches, or what you’re going over in your mind between innings.
How do you hustle on the field once the game has started; how do you handle players during the game? Do you talk non-stop to the players and coaches on the field? How do you conduct yourself during the pre-game meeting at home plate with the managers? Take a look at your uniforms and equipment that you will be using during the upcoming season? Have you cleaned or repaired any equipment you might use? Have you ordered any new uniforms, hats or anything else?
What types of things have you done in the off-season to improve your knowledge of the game? Have you attended an umpiring clinic in your state? Have you pulled out your rulebook and read it over and over? Has your local league had any meetings during the off season? Have you tapped the internet, library or any other resources related to umpiring to help you improve?
Have you prepared yourself physically for the new season?
We realize we have touched on many different aspects – our main purpose is to get you to start thinking about the upcoming season. Pick out a couple of items from this article that you personally think could use a little more work to make you a better umpire. Work on these things through the remainder of the off season.