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Old Thu Sep 14, 2006, 03:42pm
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A Season on the Brink... Fall Ball

I've been off for several weeks now, as a result of moving back to school and quantity of games late August/ early September offers. This weekend "Fall Ball" really starts up, I'll be working 7 games. I'm excited to get back onto the field.

While its not a full season, I will treat it like it's one. Some goals I have for this mini-season (this will conclude my 2nd year of umpiring)

1) Keep working on timing as PU. See it, see it again, call it. Stay consistent throughout the whole game, and day, at the field on timing.

2) Dance the dance with coaches a little better. Know when to get vocal and when to bite your lip. Better understand what they are saying to you, so you can act appropriatly. Don't do anything towards coaches without thinking about it first.

3) Stop signaling OUT on can of corn flyballs.

4) Act as though I don't even have an indicator in my hand. I'm decent at this, but need to stop glancing at it all together.

5) Keep focusing on the bottom of the zone, each game is consistent, but day to day it is not.


Is there anything, in general, that I should begin to start worrying about as I begin to become more of an experienced umpire?

Also, what goals can you all set for yourself this fall?

Without setting goals, you won't get any better!
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Old Thu Sep 14, 2006, 04:12pm
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Sounds like some worthy goals, Tuss. Like many things in life - timing is everything. Being that this is fall ball, try leaving the indicator in your pocket...or, better yet, your car. You'll be forced to concentrate on the count and outs.
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Old Thu Sep 14, 2006, 06:21pm
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TussAgee11:

Since you are just 2 years into your umpiring career I'd recommend that you attend a clinic, maybe there's one taught by 'upper-level' umpires in your area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
1) Keep working on timing as PU. See it, see it again, call it. Stay consistent throughout the whole game, and day, at the field on timing.

5) Keep focusing on the bottom of the zone, each game is consistent, but day to day it is not.
Being consistent is critical behind the plate. Timing is also important. Practice how you set up. Practice setting up so that you can see the entire plate. Follow the ball to F2's mitt with your eyes. See the pitch and call the pitch.

Work on your positioning, mechanics and timing as PU & BU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
2) Dance the dance with coaches a little better. Know when to get vocal and when to bite your lip. Better understand what they are saying to you, so you can act appropriatly. Don't do anything towards coaches without thinking about it first.
You never need to get vocal toward a coach. You never need to do anything towards a coach. I don't yell at coaches/managers. I listen to them and allow them to eject themselves. You remain clam and your voice firm. If it becomes necessary to eject someone don't make a big show out of it, just do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
3) Stop signaling OUT on can of corn flyballs.

4) Act as though I don't even have an indicator in my hand. I'm decent at this, but need to stop glancing at it all together.
2 years into your career don't sweat the small stuff. So you give the out signal on a 'can of corn' catch, who cares, it is an out after all.

Different 'experienced' umpires will say "Get rid of the indicator." My advice is at this point in your career keep the indicator and concentrate on the important aspects of umpiring. I teach the new guys that if you want to hide your glancing at your indicator just adjust your mask with your left hand and glance at you indicator as you do. No big deal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
Is there anything, in general, that I should begin to start worrying about as I begin to become more of an experienced umpire?
Worry about the things above. The higher level you work the more that's expected form you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
Also, what goals can you all set for yourself this fall?
My goals are simple after more than 20 years:

1. Work hard, work smart, and hustle all game
2. Attend a clinic
3. Continue to improve my skills
4. Don't screw up when the game's being televised
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Old Thu Sep 14, 2006, 08:31pm
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Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.

As far as the hustle goes, thats what people always compliment me on.

However, for 19 years old, I'm probably not as fast as I should be. Do you think I should be doing anything in the gym to help my umpiring? I can run decent for one game, but once I get into the 2nd and then definatly the 3rd my conditioning isn't that good. I still try to hustle, but I can be too slow at times, or really huffing and puffing out there.

Is it a big deal? Or "no deal"?
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 12:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
3) Stop signaling OUT on can of corn flyballs.
If you are working a two man crew and you are PU, and a fly ball is hit with no runner's on base, you need to call the out so your partner will know the ball has been caught (he is supposed to be watching for Obstruction at 1st base). Or, if the ball is not caught, you should be telling him the "ball is down".

Remember, two umpires have two separate jobs, so communication is really important.
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 12:51am
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Notch your indicator on the zeros. Then you can reset it with out having to look at it. Defiantly looks better than looking at the indicator for extended periods of time trying to reset it. I used my Dremel and a grinding bit to notch mine.
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 03:09am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Ump
Notch your indicator on the zeros. Then you can reset it with out having to look at it. Defiantly looks better than looking at the indicator for extended periods of time trying to reset it. I used my Dremel and a grinding bit to notch mine.
Notching is the way to go.

Mine have two sets of notches;

A large (wide) one on the Zero's.

A small (narrow) one on Strike 2, Ball 3, Out 2.

Being able to feel when to punch a batter out, send them to 1st base, or not to call a double play, can save you some embarrassment.
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 09:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.

As far as the hustle goes, thats what people always compliment me on.

However, for 19 years old, I'm probably not as fast as I should be. Do you think I should be doing anything in the gym to help my umpiring? I can run decent for one game, but once I get into the 2nd and then definatly the 3rd my conditioning isn't that good. I still try to hustle, but I can be too slow at times, or really huffing and puffing out there.

Is it a big deal? Or "no deal"?
You don't have to be super-fast but you need to be able to handle the amount of running necessary to get into proper positon to make the calls.

Work on your cardio.....

I'm 55-years old with knees that were worn out years ago (with the help of exercise and braces I'm still doing what I enjoy and doing it well).

5 or 6 days per week (every week) I jog (ran in the 'old' days) 4 miles per day with my dog (my dog ain't as fast as he once was either )
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 10:22am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.

As far as the hustle goes, thats what people always compliment me on.

However, for 19 years old, I'm probably not as fast as I should be. Do you think I should be doing anything in the gym to help my umpiring? I can run decent for one game, but once I get into the 2nd and then definatly the 3rd my conditioning isn't that good. I still try to hustle, but I can be too slow at times, or really huffing and puffing out there.

Is it a big deal? Or "no deal"?
There's a difference between being "fast" and hustling. Know where to go, get there, and stop. Speed isn't the issue (one of the slowest and heaviest umpires in my area is the absolute best at being in position on every play) - awareness, instinct, and hustle is the issue. If your hustle is better in the 1st game than it is in the 3rd, perhaps you're wearing yourself out with speed early, as opposed to hustle.
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 10:34am
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Mcrowder -

I know speed and hustle are different, but isn't hustle when you move as fast as possible? Therefore, I'm always hustling each game of a triple header, I just lose speed.

Kind of nitpicking, and getting away from the general point of the thread.

Thanks for ya'lls reponses. As far as getting in shape, well, I guess I need to stop being a college kid to do that!
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 01:34pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
Thanks for ya'lls reponses. As far as getting in shape, well, I guess I need to stop being a college kid to do that!
Nope, you just need the desire to get into shape. As far as getting into shape goes being a college student is your excuse to fail.

You posted about lack of stamina and then made an excuse why you couldn't correct the problem.
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 02:04pm
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What I would give to be 19 again. Of course that would put me in the middle of my 2nd year in the Army. Still, it would be great for umpiring. I would work 7 games a day if I had the kind of energy and stamina I had back then.
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 07:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TussAgee11
Mcrowder -

I know speed and hustle are different, but isn't hustle when you move as fast as possible?
No, hustle is when you move as fast as necessary. False hustle is when you move as fast as possible, when it's not necessary.
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 07:31pm
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You can hustle yourself out of position as fast as you can hustle yourself into position. It is better to have instincts and be able to read plays than to hustle. I think the word hustle is use to much with umpires.

Clint
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Old Fri Sep 15, 2006, 10:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
Nope, you just need the desire to get into shape. As far as getting into shape goes being a college student is your excuse to fail.

You posted about lack of stamina and then made an excuse why you couldn't correct the problem.
Perhaps you are taking my post a little to seriously. I don't make excuses in any realm of my life. All I was saying is that being a college student, and living the life that we live, that its not really optimal conditions to stay in shape.

Lighten up, take my post for what it is, a comment made in jest.
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