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Duckpondstrike

New umpire instruction

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The main reason I am staring this thread is to get some info but also to discuss the lack of personnel coming into umpiring.  I signed up and have been attending all clinics that my association requires durning this time. Initially the clincics were on field and very informative, but since our winter clinics have started my instruction time has reduced to less than thirty minutes.  This is while veterans have been privy to over an hour at each session. After 7 clinics only one was used to discuss mechanics and this was also about 10 minutes.  I have as much love of baseball as any other umpire, but even with an association that is highly reputable, anyone who has less than a year of work under their belts is put in an instructional situation that will not make them successful.   Any thoughts would be appreciated.                              

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My thought is: the question seems to concern the rationale for your association's training practices. I don't know what that is, so I'm not in a position to criticize it (either positively or negatively).

A thread on the topic of recruitment is fine, but that doesn't relate to the training practices of one association. It also doesn't belong in the "Ask the Umpire" forum, which is dedicated to rules questions.

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This post belonging in a different forum notwithstanding, I'll address the issue you raised. Like Maven said, we can't know your association's training practices, but I'll say this: I don't know anyone among us who thinks our associations give at least the right amount of training because most of our organizations are spread pretty thin. You're going to hit the field for the first time feeling under-prepared, and that's normal. That's why many of us take lots of scrimmages, then begin our careers in low-level ball like sub-varsity, rec league and below. We may spend years at these levels before moving up to varsity ball or college.

The point is that your success is up to you. I recommend you take as many games as possible, ask questions, seek out criticism and listen with an open mind to what may be painful input, go to clinics outside your association, stink up some baseball games, make lots of mistakes, blow more than your share of calls, listen to parents and coaches holler at you, suck it up, get back on the field and become better for it. Use resources like this forum and become a true student of umpiring. Your journey is only beginning.

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14 hours ago, Duckpondstrike said:

The main reason I am staring this thread is to get some info but also to discuss the lack of personnel coming into umpiring.  I signed up and have been attending all clinics that my association requires durning this time. Initially the clincics were on field and very informative, but since our winter clinics have started my instruction time has reduced to less than thirty minutes.  This is while veterans have been privy to over an hour at each session. After 7 clinics only one was used to discuss mechanics and this was also about 10 minutes.  I have as much love of baseball as any other umpire, but even with an association that is highly reputable, anyone who has less than a year of work under their belts is put in an instructional situation that will not make them successful.   Any thoughts would be appreciated.                              

I am unclear about the following:

"but since our winter clinics have started my instruction time has reduced to less than thirty minutes.  This is while veterans have been privy to over an hour at each session."

Do you mean that you are not getting the reps or time behind the dish?  If so, I will level a criticism here.  I think it is incumbent on an organization to make sure that their new/inexperienced members get MORE prep time at clinics than the veterans. (Not that vets don't need some, but they should not be hogging the cage.)

The more the newbie gets in pre-season, the better the organization looks and the less game problems a veteran umpire will have when partnered with a less experienced umpire.

We are fortunate that a local HS here lets our members come down and call pitches during their winter workouts. When it comes back for a second round in the cage, newbies get first dibs or maybe guys that need to work on specific things.  Usually a vet is standing nearby outside the netting working with the member.

My $0.02.  YMMV.

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50 minutes ago, conbo61 said:

Do you mean that you are not getting the reps or time behind the dish?  If so, I will level a criticism here.  I think it is incumbent on an organization to make sure that their new/inexperienced members get MORE prep time at clinics than the veterans. (Not that vets don't need some, but they should not be hogging the cage.)

Perhaps the shorter training is just for 1-person mechanics, which are pretty easy (PU has it all, get out from behind the plate). You'd need longer to train 2-umpire mechanics.

As I said, without hearing the details and rationale from the association, criticism is premature.

And, as a person who does the training, I can tell you that it's time consuming and pays nothing. Many of those I'm expected to instruct don't want to be there and have no interest in improving (though for others it can be rewarding to teach them, and I personally enjoy the challenge of trying to "flip" the unmotivated).

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5 minutes ago, maven said:

Perhaps the shorter training is just for 1-person mechanics, which are pretty easy (PU has it all, get out from behind the plate). You'd need longer to train 2-umpire mechanics.

As I said, without hearing the details and rationale from the association, criticism is premature.

And, as a person who does the training, I can tell you that it's time consuming and pays nothing. Many of those I'm expected to instruct don't want to be there and have no interest in improving (though for others it can be rewarding to teach them, and I personally enjoy the challenge of trying to "flip" the unmotivated).

Most clinics/training that I have attended separate BU and PU training.  Very few conduct "crew" training.  Most likely due to the time requirement you cite.

My criticism is with the implication that the vets get 1 hour and the newbies get 30 minutes.  Why the differential?  I am assuming that he is referring to training where members participate and not necessarily class room training where everyone is sitting.

As for those that don't want to be there, there are those in every organization. Kudos to the trainers such as yourself that have to be doubly motivated.

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My HS association held 3 mechanics sessions this off season: 3 man, 2 man and one man clinics. We are extremely fortunate that many of the HS programs in the area actually want the umpires to train and improve, so they actively assist in our training programs. For our 3 man clinic, they scheduled a scrimmage game after the morning mechanics session so that we could have guys cycle in and out of the game where they receive immediate feedback from the staff. For the 2 man clinic, we had players on the field actually playing so that our guys could have a much more 'live game feel' to the training. 

 As @maven stated earlier, setting up these clinics is time consuming and not easy. You have to get the fields, get the permits, coordinate with your instructional staff, get your ratings staff available and then get all participants ready to go. Oh, and all of this? On your time, for free, most likely. Also consider that for most of us, HS baseball lasts 10-12 weeks and then, as an association, we are finished until next year. Yes, the BOD meets and plans, but as a rank and file umpire, our association basically ceases to exist until the next season.

One of the big things out IC mentions, time and again... what are you doing, on your time to get better? Are you working games outside of HS? Are you attending other clinics? Reading, asking questions? All of these things, such as being on this web site will help make you a better umpire. No matter how well you are trained, how well read... nothing is going to substitute for actual in game experience.
 

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