Coaching Junior Umpires

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coaching junior umpires raises some key challenges for umpire coaches, in particular, coaching inexperienced junior umpires. Those challenges included:

  • Keeping training and coaching fresh and interesting
  • Getting them started in umpiring a game
  • Building confidence in junior umpires
  • Maintaining their interest in umpiring
  • Getting kids to umpire training as many of them play footy

Coaches highlighted the importance of being aware of the different learning styles – visual (seeing), aural (hearing) and kinaesthetic (doing) and ensuring that those different styles are present in the delivery of coaching sessions.

It is important to break young umpires up into groups at training– ensuring the groups are small and targeted so that there is a higher level of participation and the activity is pitched to the appropriate level of the umpire.

A range of methods can be used in coaching sessions to add variety and interest for inexperienced umpires.  These include the use of:

  • vision of an umpire performing where the coach can discuss relevant umpiring/match issues with the young umpire,
  • a footy mat to assist with an umpire’s understanding of various positioning situations, also a good indoors activity in poor weather
  • junior club training for umpires to attend and umpire some match simulated drills.
  • practical activities which require umpires to use their whistle and voice (game sense activities) were beneficial in developing confidence in young umpires.
  • footballs at training to simulate different match situations – adds to the enjoyment as many young umpires still play

What are you doing as an umpire coach to maintain interest among your junior umpires?

If you are junior umpire what would you like to do at training?

Share your thoughts by using the comment box below.

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