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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 20, 2007, 01:28pm
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How do you deal with counseling/critiquing newer umps?

I am a so-called "umpire consultant" for LL in my area. I am by far the guy with most time logged in, but stepped down as UIC/assignor some years ago.

I try to counsel newer umps (without chewing them out) in hopes of fostering better officiating. I don't "evaluate" per se, but will pass my opinions along to UIC (who is an excellent official and equitable assignor) and District Administrator.

The youngers guys usually thank me for my input. Very few call or email me to "sponge" off me.

HOWEVER, the toughest (by far) pernt to get across is attire and overall appearance. It takes five minutes to shine your kicks. Plate pants look like $h!t on the bases. What's a flex belt?

Two queries:

1) Am I being too much of an old-schooler? BIM that I'm not yelling at anyone or hectoring them; I simply make suggestions.

2) What do some of you people do, in general, to improve umps' quality when it is your job/station to do so?

Personal replies welcome.

Ace

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Old Fri Jul 20, 2007, 02:54pm
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What I do as my Association's President and what I do as "only" an umpire is this.

As Association President: I do evaluations and my evaluations are blunt...but I try to point out what they are doing well as what needs improvement.

As an "umpire" (that is when I was not President): I critique only if asked by the umpire. But if I am asked, I am honest. I do not volunteer information.
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Old Fri Jul 20, 2007, 04:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceholleran
I am a so-called "umpire consultant" for LL in my area. I am by far the guy with most time logged in, but stepped down as UIC/assignor some years ago.

I try to counsel newer umps (without chewing them out) in hopes of fostering better officiating. I don't "evaluate" per se, but will pass my opinions along to UIC (who is an excellent official and equitable assignor) and District Administrator.

The youngers guys usually thank me for my input. Very few call or email me to "sponge" off me.

HOWEVER, the toughest (by far) pernt to get across is attire and overall appearance. It takes five minutes to shine your kicks. Plate pants look like $h!t on the bases. What's a flex belt?

Two queries:

1) Am I being too much of an old-schooler? BIM that I'm not yelling at anyone or hectoring them; I simply make suggestions.

2) What do some of you people do, in general, to improve umps' quality when it is your job/station to do so?

Personal replies welcome.

Ace

[email protected]
Ace, I appreciate any experienced umpire who will take the time to talk to me about something I should do or could've done! I walked on the field the first time wearing a white undershirt and holding my indicator in my right hand.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jul 20, 2007, 04:26pm
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The best thing to do when evaluating a young umpire is point out something positive for every negitive you point out. Also evaluate at his level of umpiring. At the low levels of LL I would be happy if the umpire had a proper shirt, pressed slacks and clean black shoes. It would be a bonus if they are the proper slacks and the shoes are shined. Alot of young umpires are still trying to figure out how much they are enjoying umpiring. So spending hundreds of dollars on gear my not be a good investment for them at this time.

I also wondering if the older members of your group do anything to help the younger kids. ie: handing down old equipment.
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Old Fri Jul 20, 2007, 04:58pm
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As a member of the same association and LL as Ace, perhaps I should chime in.

Our LL umpires (of which I am a young one) are not the type that come out in workboots and beater shirts. We look good, and have a good reputation in the state for LL umpires. There are people in every association (baseball or not) that want to be better, and strive for it, including ours.

Unfortunately, there are some in every association that don't have that strive to be great, for themselves or for the group. I have it for myself; I want to be the best I can be on the field, and always want to learn. I don't have it as much for the group as Ace does, because he obviously has alot more say that I do in matters regarding our district and other umpires. If I give a 10 year vet a suggestion, it will easily be taken as "hot shot 3rd year umpire."

So I think what you all might appear to think "well its LL so anything you get is a bonus," that isn't really what is going on here. LL umpires here are members of the HS association, by and large (or have been at one point), and some are even varsity umpires.

So perhaps a more pertinent question to the members of this board is the general one of "how do you get younger umpires better."
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Old Fri Jul 20, 2007, 07:50pm
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Best advice I ever received, "Hustle!" I had a very experienced umpire this year square my stance and B and C. I see the pick off at first base much better and it makes it a heck of easier to get out of the way of the ball.
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Old Sat Jul 21, 2007, 02:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceholleran
2) What do some of you people do, in general, to improve umps' quality when it is your job/station to do so?
Concentrate on rules, especially local or association rules, since Coaches, fans and players know them much better than OBR.
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Last edited by fitump56; Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 09:41pm.
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Old Sat Jul 21, 2007, 10:34am
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Quote:
=aceholleran]I am a so-called "umpire consultant" for LL in my area. I am by far the guy with most time logged in, but stepped down as UIC/assignor some years ago.


HOWEVER, the toughest (by far) pernt to get across is attire and overall appearance. It takes five minutes to shine your kicks. Plate pants look like $h!t on the bases. What's a flex belt?
You are talking LL, so if these guys/gals are not paid, where do you expect them to get money from to look "professional" ? Gas is $3.00/gallon these days.

Pants cost in the neigborhood of $45.00 per pair Cheap Plate shoes are around $50.00 and that's not counting equipment, and shirts.

Therefore, unless these men / women get paid or the leagues "kick in" for equipment, pants, shirts et al. there is not too much you can do about the attire issue.

Pete Booth
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Old Sat Jul 21, 2007, 10:42am
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I don't think yours is a sound argument, Pete. Most who umpire LL that I know do it for the love of the game, but first and foremost as a hobby. Some people golf, some people fish, and some people umpire in their spare time as a way to entertain themselves. All come with a price tag if you're going to be any good at them.



Tim.
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Old Sat Jul 21, 2007, 12:09pm
rei
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I would suggest that when you start out with your critique that you say something to the effect of:

Let's start with the stuff I had a problem with and end with the good stuff I have for you.

Contrary to popular belief, if you start with good stuff, then move on the bad stuff, all of the good stuff will be forgotten. If you actually care about these people getting better, have them leave the critique with all the good things they did that day in their mind, not leaving with everything they did wrong.

Also, the "mix it up" approach doesn't work so well either.

Just get the bad stuff out of the way, but make sure you tell them up front that you seen a lot of good things from them that you will get to after you talk about the things that were not so good. Believe me, people respond favorably to this approach and they will leave the meeting with a good impression of you.

I take different approaches to each person, depending upon how long they have been around, past experiences with them, and what I know of THEIR desire to improve.

Like yesterday, I worked with a veteran up. Been around about as long as me, doing the same levels of ball. I know from past experiences that no matter what I bring up he will have an excuse. Thus, I offer NOTHING to him. If he asks, I still don't offer anything (he hasn't asked in a couple of years now...LOL )

Now, on the other hand, about a week and half ago, I worked with a guy, about a 12th year guy. Does pretty good. Solid. Makes good decisions. I knew I didn't need to wait for him to ask for anything because I know he constantly is working on his craft. He listens carefully. Engages in meaningful discussion about what I bring up. He thanks me, and usually, the next time I see him work, he has worked on those things.

A couple of weeks ago, I worked with a guy who I think really needs a lot of work. In the past, I have offered up stuff to him, and he seems to take it well. But, what I noticed is that he has not changed one single thing yet! I know that other guys have said similar things to him, and yet, all these years later he still has some glaring problems. I can only think he does not care enough to change. So, even when he asks, I don't cover most things with him, because I know I would be wasting my breath.

So, I can only say that just be careful about what you offer up. I just know from experience that if a person is making excuses for what they did "wrong" or are not open to maybe improving their "style", they probably never will be. Also, if a guy has listened to what you say and agrees, yet next time you see them they are still doing/not doing that stuff, they probably don't care enough to work on it, and possibly you have not hit on their particular motivation factor to affect that change.

I am the type that I want it all from somebody. If I was doing something wrong, I for sure want to know about it. If somebody has a problem with my "style" I want to know that too! It is surprising how much you can learn about how you are percieved from seemingly little comments from the most unlikely of people!
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Old Sun Jul 22, 2007, 07:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rei
A couple of weeks ago, I worked with a guy who I think really needs a lot of work. In the past, I have offered up stuff to him, and he seems to take it well. But, what I noticed is that he has not changed one single thing yet! I know that other guys have said similar things to him, and yet, all these years later he still has some glaring problems. I can only think he does not care enough to change. So, even when he asks, I don't cover most things with him, because I know I would be wasting my breath.

So, I can only say that just be careful about what you offer up. I just know from experience that if a person is making excuses for what they did "wrong" or are not open to maybe improving their "style", they probably never will be. Also, if a guy has listened to what you say and agrees, yet next time you see them they are still doing/not doing that stuff, they probably don't care enough to work on it, and possibly you have not hit on their particular motivation factor to affect that change.

I am the type that I want it all from somebody. If I was doing something wrong, I for sure want to know about it. If somebody has a problem with my "style" I want to know that too! It is surprising how much you can learn about how you are percieved from seemingly little comments from the most unlikely of people!
Advice, like umpires, can be both good and bad! If you're judging new umpires based on you telling them something and expecting them to put it into practice the next time you see them, I disagree. Many guys have been taught incorrectly and it takes a long time to unlearn! You've got to remember, the partner this guy worked with before you could have told him ten things to work on, which he was doing.

When I started three years ago, I would ask my partner to tell me if I could improve. I realize now, not all the advice I was given was very good.
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Old Sun Jul 22, 2007, 10:23pm
rei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njdevs00cup
Advice, like umpires, can be both good and bad! If you're judging new umpires based on you telling them something and expecting them to put it into practice the next time you see them, I disagree. Many guys have been taught incorrectly and it takes a long time to unlearn! You've got to remember, the partner this guy worked with before you could have told him ten things to work on, which he was doing.

When I started three years ago, I would ask my partner to tell me if I could improve. I realize now, not all the advice I was given was very good.
I am a "trainer" in our association, and am 100% on board and inline with all the things we want taught and expect from new umpires. Everybody knows this.

I have no problems expecting a newer umpire to work on stuff I have given them to work on and seeing it applied the next time I work with them. I don't think, after many discussion about this vary stuff, the rest of our training cadre have a problem with that either.
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