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Hey everybody,

 

 I am so stoked to say that I’ve made the decision to attend the Umpire Training Academy! My wife and I talked about it and came to the conclusion that now would be the best time to attend. Our reasoning behind this is for a few reasons:

 

1.    I graduate college in December and it only seems natural to do this in succession.

2.    I have some extra scholarship money that can be used towards the umpire school.

3.    I’d like to do this before committing to a career path associated with my degree. 

 

Again, I am beyond excited that I’m actually doing this; however, I have some reservations about it as well and that is what I need some help with. 

 

1.    I’m curious how some of you have balanced being focused but also having fun while at the school.

2.    Along the same lines, what is a good amount to participate in the discussions/demonstrations.

3.    What is a good way to prep? I have the rulebook and umpire manual that I read everyday. I’m also working out more, trying to lose a little weight. Is there anything else I should be doing? 

 

I can’t wait to go and feel so blessed for this chance!  

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As a graduate of the class of 2015, I'll try to give you some insight into the UTA, (formerly TUS). Keep in mind, my perspective is from a 50 year old not looking for a job. However, I paid a lot of attention to the dynamics of how the school was run and what it takes to get a job.There was no pressure for me, so I was able to really pay attention to the intricacies of how the school functioned and what they were looking for. I'm assuming you are looking to get placed in MiLB. I blogged everyday I was there for some additional insight. You can do a search here on Umpire-Empire to find the daily posts.

22 hours ago, The Short Umpire said:

1.    I’m curious how some of you have balanced being focused but also having fun while at the school.

While I wasn't looking for a job, I took my time there very seriously. I was there to learn and to test myself. While it was fun at times, it's still a lot of work, the days are long and the curriculum is demanding. If you're looking for a job, it's basically a 4 week job interview. It's not really a place for fun and games. The best way to enjoy the ride is to work hard and connect with your crew mates. Soak up the information and study hard.

 

22 hours ago, The Short Umpire said:

2.    Along the same lines, what is a good amount to participate in the discussions/demonstrations.

You don't really participate in discussions or demonstrations. They tell you what to do, and you follow along. Like the late Tony Gwynn would say, "Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut." The best way to get noticed is through your work ethic and attitude. You can't hide a good umpire, and you can't hide a bad umpire. Your work on the field and in the classroom should do the talking for you. Take any feedback/criticism with grace and respect. Do not talk back, and do not try to argue/discuss any feedback an evaluator is giving you. It's not a democracy. Remember what the school is looking for, good umpires, but also people that can handle themselves unsupervised in a variety of situations. When a person gets hired, they are representing Minor League Baseball. You'll be on your own most of the time to take care of anything that might happen on a baseball field, but to also interact with players, clubhouse personnel, and team/league officials. You need to be a good soldier.

 

22 hours ago, The Short Umpire said:

 What is a good way to prep?

Read and understand the rulebook, and study up on pro 2 man mechanics. Also, be in shape physically. The days are long and you need to be able to last through the 4 weeks. You don't get a whole lot of time off. There is a lot of running. I would work on cardio and leg strength the most. Also, your appearance each day is critical. Make sure your uniform is clean each day, and your personal hygiene is good, as well. Shave every day and look sharp. 

Hope this helps, and I'm always happy to answer any questions.

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23 hours ago, JonnyCat said:

As a graduate of the class of 2015, I'll try to give you some insight into the UTA, (formerly TUS). Keep in mind, my perspective is from a 50 year old not looking for a job. However, I paid a lot of attention to the dynamics of how the school was run and what it takes to get a job.There was no pressure for me, so I was able to really pay attention to the intricacies of how the school functioned and what they were looking for. I'm assuming you are looking to get placed in MiLB. I blogged everyday I was there for some additional insight. You can do a search here on Umpire-Empire to find the daily posts.

 

 

Hope this helps, and I'm always happy to answer any questions.

Hey thank you for your response! I would really be interested in picking your brain, (I'll PM you). I'd like to get a more broad understanding of what will happen. 

 

 

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  • 10 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Umpire School was incredible! I'm not being dramatic when I say LIFE CHANGING! Prior to attending umpire school the highest level of baseball I had umpired was middle school. I had not received any other formal training of any kind; everything I had learned about umpiring was gleaned and self taught so the instruction was very awakening. I met tons of new people who will be lifelong friends of mine. I didn't get the job and when I got home the world ended so I was only able to umpire a few games after school until about May of 2020. Utah got sick of Covid fairly quickly so in May I got to umpire in a "Make-Shift" county tournament. For the most part that went well, had a few bumps but I learned from it. Shortly after that Triple-Crown/Pathways baseball was trying to survive and had to move three tournaments from neighboring states to us. This was incredible and gave me tons of experience at a decent level of baseball. I also worked American Legion, which, operated majorly in Utah that year. That fall, I attended the midamerican umpire camp and got some really positive feedback there. In January 2021 I returned to FL for the Umpire Placement Course and got a summer job in the Northwoods League where I really learned a ton! Following the camp in January however I worked my first actual, "Highschool" season. That went well! Now in 2022 I just finished my second highschool season and had the opportunity to work a plate in the State Finals. So again, lifechanging experience.  

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Good to know.  It is on my list of things to try.   I wanted to go last year but things happened (I figured it would be a good time as my wife was traveling with her sister in January as well).

No great aspirations about major (or minor) leagues at my age, but figured it will help with my local stuff.

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33 minutes ago, flyingron said:

Good to know.  It is on my list of things to try.   I wanted to go last year but things happened (I figured it would be a good time as my wife was traveling with her sister in January as well).

No great aspirations about major (or minor) leagues at my age, but figured it will help with my local stuff.

As of now, the academy is not in operation anymore. Wendlestedt is the only umpire school as of now 

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49 minutes ago, tpatience said:

As of now, the academy is not in operation anymore. Wendlestedt is the only umpire school as of now 

What happened?

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21 minutes ago, UMP45 said:

MLB took over all aspects of MiLB. This included TUA. There is only one pro school.

So is Scissors scholarship to pro school he just got from MiLB sending him to Wendelstedt?

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48 minutes ago, JonnyCat said:

So is Scissors scholarship to pro school he just got from MiLB sending him to Wendelstedt?

Good question. I don't really remember what they said since I was caught up in the moment of the phone call. But they did say something about how within the next couple years it will be an "invitation only" kinda deal, at least from what I can understand you won't be able to just got there as an amateur anymore. But that's just my interpretation and not a fact. 

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18 hours ago, JonnyCat said:

So is Scissors scholarship to pro school he just got from MiLB sending him to Wendelstedt?

I would say yes.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/2/2019 at 2:03 AM, The Short Umpire said:

 

Hey everybody,

 

 I am so stoked to say that I’ve made the decision to attend the Umpire Training Academy! My wife and I talked about it and came to the conclusion that now would be the best time to attend. Our reasoning behind this is for a few reasons:

 

1.    I graduate college in December and it only seems natural to do this in succession.

2.    I have some extra scholarship money that can be used towards the umpire school.

3.    I’d like to do this before committing to a career path associated with my degree. 

 

Again, I am beyond excited that I’m actually doing this; however, I have some reservations about it as well and that is what I need some help with. 

 

1.    I’m curious how some of you have balanced being focused but also having fun while at the school.

2.    Along the same lines, what is a good amount to participate in the discussions/demonstrations.

3.    What is a good way to prep? I have the rulebook and umpire manual that I read everyday. I’m also working out more, trying to lose a little weight. Is there anything else I should be doing? 

 

I can’t wait to go and feel so blessed for this chance!  

1.  You are there to get a job (assuming you are trying to get a job...I believe you implied that in your post).  The "fun" should come in the form of studying something you love ("umpiring") in incredible detail.  Yes, there were nights when we got together in a room and had a drink or watched a game (i.e., football playoffs).  But, honestly, I never saw anyone ever overdo it with drinks or partying.  The couple of students who did regularly go out (to strip clubs, bars, etc.) didn't come close to getting a job (big shock there, LOL).  Most of your "free" time is spent studying or practicing your mechanics and rules.  A number of us went to the fields a lot of evenings (after the instructors were gone) to practice what we had learned.  For me, when I needed a mental break I went for a swim in the hotel pool or we had a putting contest on the hotel's putting green.  Bottom line:  you're there to work; it takes up a lot of your time.  I'm not a military veteran, but a few students said it was like boot camp in that you have to live the school 24/7...with just minor breaks away from the studying and practicing.

2.  If you have a legitimate question, you should ask it.  If you get an answer from an instructor and you don't like the answer, you should never ask another instructor because you didn't like the first instructor's answer.  Joe Brinkman called this "picking off instructors"...which is one of the fastest ways to not get a job.  Also, if you're a person who asks a million questions (such as hypothetical situation after hypothetical situation)...you are not getting a job.  If you're the person that causes all the other students to roll their eyes when you start to ask yet another question...you're not getting a job.  If you are really struggling to grasp a concept...definitely ask an instructor one-on-one between sessions or as you're walking from the classroom to the field, etc.  Finally, as for participating in demonstrations...you aren't going to have a choice.  They're not voluntary if you're trying to get a job.  Trust me, they'll pick you.  The only thing that is voluntary is that they may ask some students to play the role of fielders or runners.  And trust me, you are NOT earning bonus points if you volunteer.  They don't give two sh!ts.  They are always watching the guys who are umpiring in a drill...not the students who are running or fielding.

3.  Be in shape.  Run, swim, exercise...whatever it is you need to do to be in shape.  These days they want kids who look like athletes.  Mind you, you do not have to look like a world class athlete (so don't be scared), but they don't want a 20-22 year-old with a beer gut, either.  The minor leagues are physically demanding.  You're umpiring day-after-day for half the year; plus you have do a ton of traveling to work those games.  

As for the umpiring part it is like boot camp in this regards:  they are going to break you down at the beginning to build you back up.  Will have an advantage if you know the two-man mechanics and rules inside and out?  Of course you will.  However, you can learn them while your there.  (There have been numerous persons throughout the decades who got a pro job having never umpired before.)  So, you don't have to already be an expert in 2-man mechanics or rules when you first arrive.  However, what you cannot do in 4-5 weeks is get in shape if you are significantly out-of-shape...its just not possible.

In summary here is what the instructors will look at:

(1)  Did you show significant improvement from Day 1 to the last day?  (You don't have to rock the mechanics or be a rules expert in the first week.  By the middle of the camp, you should be showing improvement.  By the end, you should be slaying it.)

(2)  Are you in shape?

(3)  Are you a person that they would be okay with to live and travel with for 5-6 months if you were to become their partner in the future?  They pride themselves on being gatekeepers.  If you are the "one guy" in the class that no one can stand...they will not recommend you for a job no matter how well you do everything else.  They won't torture some other minor league umpire by making them have to live and travel with an asshole for a whole season in low A ball.  

(4)  Have guts.  If the instructors start role playing as managers...don't be afraid to eject.  They want to know that you have balls and won't "freeze" and look like a deer in headlights if you start hearing SH*# from the dugouts or a manager screaming in your face.  Showing you have guts is a major intangible that they are definitely looking for.  Pro ball is an entirely different animal from every other level of baseball.  (Having worked them all.  LOL)

 

 

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On 9/2/2022 at 8:46 PM, JonnyCat said:

While that is all great advice, The Short Umpire already attended UTA. Nonetheless, all what you wrote is correct.

LOL.  Slow day last week; I totally missed the year on the OP.  

As my first grade teacher used to say, "50 lashes with a wet noodle for (me)!"

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36 minutes ago, lawump said:

LOL.  Slow day last week; I totally missed the year on the OP.  

As my first grade teacher used to say, "50 lashes with a wet noodle for (me)!"

:lol: I figured it was something like that! Still was a great post, all that advice is spot on!

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