By Rod Threlfall
VCFL Umpiring Development Manager
The task of coaching football players is always challenging. There are many facets to training and educating players which ultimately helps to drive success for your team and club. If you are looking for new ways to get the edge on your competitors, then why not get your local umpires involved with your club?
You could get them along to training to assist you and your players understand law interpretations and implementation. For example when you are conducting match drills at training, who within your group umpires these drills? Does this person understand the laws and will they penalise players who infringe?
Carlton football club regularly invites umpires to training. The umpires are tasked with umpiring the match drills. Senior coach, Brett Ratten, sums it up best when he says, “the umpires do it properly, we get it wrong, we are not perfect at it”.
The video clips below show how having an umpire at your training can improve your match drills. There are times in the clips when the umpire was asked not to ‘blow the whistle’, but speak to players by telling them there was a free kick there. This practise does not impact on the execution of the drill you are conducting and allows players to be reminded of when the laws are infringed.
This activity will also have benefits for umpires too. Umpires only get a chance to practise their decision making on match day, so providing them with the opportunity to attend training and umpiring match drills can contribute to them becoming a better umpire.
I hope you are able to see the terrific benefits this practise can realise for each participant and that you are able to invite umpires from your local association to training to umpire and join in the training session.