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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Baseball Coaching Digest - What Baseball Coaches and Umpires Expect From Each Other - The Ultimate Baseball Batting Tee

By Nick Dixon

Baseball coaches and umpires often have a love/hate relationship. Coaches often make the job of an umpire more difficult. Umpires sometimes hurt the feelings of a coach with a crucial call. Coaches expect a high level of professionalism from the umpires in the crew working a game. Umpires expect a high level of professionalism from the coaches of both teams. Here I outline 5 things coaches expect of umpires and 5 things umpires expect of coaches:

5 Things Coaches Expect from Umpires

1. Work Hard - The coach expects the umpire to move and work to get in the correct position to make every call. Coaches understand that occasionally an umpire will be slow getting to a "call spot" but a lazy umpire that is always out of position is going to hear about it from the coach. Coaches expect the members of the umpire crew to work and earn their money.

2. Listen Attentively - If a coach come out to discuss a call and does so in a respectful manner, listen to his concerns. Do not be "bull-headed" and refuse to listen. Coaches know that there is little or no chance that you will change the call. But, if you made a mistake, be man enough to respectfully listen and hear point of view of the coach.

3. Show Courtesy - Being a total jerk is not a requirement of the umpire profession. You can call the game and still be polite and communicate with both coaches. The umpire that shows one coach more attention than the other is asking for trouble. Be friendly but firm in your actions.

4. Show Maturity - Do Not Gain Glory at the Expense of a the expense of the feelings of a coach or player. There is no place in the game of baseball for umpires that go on the field looking for victims. Kids are kids, Coaches are coaches. Umpires should be umpires. Never say inappropriate things to a player under your breath. Be mature in your actions and remember that your actions have long lasting effects on the players that you communicate with.

5. Never Show Boat - People come to the baseball field for one reason. That reason is to watch two teams of kids play the game. People do not come to watch you umpire. An old coach once told me and I will always remember the following saying, "Kid remember, they do not come to watch you coach...they do not come to watch him umpire...they come to watch the kids play a game. The less you and that umpire are seen the better the game will be. Let the kids get the glory!"

5 Things Umpires Expect of Coaches

1. Display Promptness - Coaches should do everything in their power to arrive at the game with ample time to prepare for the game and to begin the game on time. Coaches should be ready to start team warm-up on time. Coaches should turn their line-ups in on time. Coaches should appear at the pregame plate conference on time. Making the other coaches and umpires wait on you is a show of disrespect and lack of professionalism.

2. Show Respect - "Blue and Ump" are not our names. You were introduced to the umpire at the pregame conference. Common courtesy is to call the umpires by their name when communicating with them.

3. Work Hard - Coach your players. Do what is acceptable coaching behavior. But do not be too theatrical or try to put on a show. Remember why the people come to watch the game.

4. Keep Your Team Hustling - Have your team hustle on and off the field. Do anything you can do to help move the game along faster. Have your on-deck batter retrieve foul balls or dead passed balls. This allows the catcher and umpire to stay in the boxes and keep the game moving. Delaying the game with needless chatter or timeouts is not going to help your cause. Work hard at coaching your kids.

5. Do Not Be a Nagger - Coaches that constantly nag or grip about every call, every pitch, or every action taken by the umpire are wasting their energy. If you grip about every call, regardless of how close or how insignificant the call is, you are being a bad role model for your players. What does a coach gain by questioning every call in a game? I would say absolutely nothing. If the coach keeps gripping, the umpires are going to "tune the coach out" sooner or later and close their ears to everything coming out of his dug out. Then when the coach has a legitimate reason to question a call, his words go unheard. Coaches should only question a call when it is a crucial call that significantly affects the game. Questioning every pitch call by saying clever things to your catcher is also inappropriate.

I hope that you found this article to be interesting and informative. I really appreciate you taking the time to read it. Have a great day, Nick,

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick