By Rod Threlfall
VCFL Umpiring Development Manager
Recently I had the opportunity to utilise the sunglasses which have a small camera included with them. The glasses have been previously used to record the vision that umpires see throughout a match and have been successful in developing the skills of umpires who have worn them.
During the recent WorkSafe VCFL U15 V/Line Cup program I was able to use the glasses in another way, I asked the umpires coach to wear them when he was talking with the umpires at the ¼ time and ¾ time breaks in play. The footage from this activity provided me a number of outcomes:
This activity also relieved the ‘pressure’ from myself as I was not required to watch and listen to the conversation, I could watch it back at a later stage and provide my feedback to the umpires coach. I have felt in the past that umpire coaches can feel uneasy that someone is watching over them and the conversation they are engaged in with umpires and this activity seemed to release the coach from this perceived pressure.
On another occasion I asked an umpire to wear the glasses at one of the breaks, this allowed me to hear and see what the coach was doing, what he said and how the umpire responded. This activity was very educating for me as development manager. I was able to see if the umpire was engaged in the conversation with the coach and whether he was able to implement the task set out by the coach in the following parts of the match.
The experience allowed the coach to develop his coaching style and also allowed me to provide each coach with feedback on their questioning and feedback technique.