Make The Right Call – Attend A Clinic OR Workshop
As amateur baseball and softball players practice, learn new skills and do everything possible to take
their game to the next level, so should the amateur umpire. Few umpires could ever honestly admit that their experience is so vast that no situation on or off the diamond could not contain some new element, new twist, or new application of the intent of the rules of baseball.
In education and in umpiring there is no finish line. Every umpire should try to attend a clinic, workshop, training session or camp/school during the off-season. For some, several hours a day devoted to umpiring techniques might be the ingredients of a long, difficult day. But for the men and women in blue, it can be the stuff dreams are made of – from one-on-one instruction from professionals to tips on working the plate to instruction on how to be in position for calls on bases to thorough details on how to be a professional umpire to routine activities, such as putting on and taking off the mask and folding your cap. For the professional umpire, there’s a correct way to do just about everything. Umpiring is more than balls and strikes. It is about presence and perception. It’s about hustle and showing the players and managers that you are doing your job.
Off Season Umpire “Dos” And “Don’ts”
- Do work on one aspect at a time to improve your umpiring for next season. Pick out a couple of things that you personally think could use a little more work to make you a better umpire.
- Do take a look at your uniforms – do you need to order anything new before next season?
- Do examine your equipment. Does anything need to be cleaned and/or repaired?
- Do attend a clinic or workshop.
- Do reread the rulebook and surf the net for umpire articles and suggestions.
- Do keep in shape. Take a brisk walk with a spouse or colleague. Jogging around the block will certainly help the infield umpire keep in top form. Plate umpires, concentrate on keeping your legs in shape – begin with a warm up and then simple squats. Just make sure you go slowly as you don’t want an injury delaying you from working the season opener.
- Don’t just sit back and do nothing! Umpiring requires you to be in top form – prepare yourself both physically and mentally!