Why is that so universally understood? Why, in a sport where we talk about teaching life skills, where we understand that our role as coaches is to mentor youth, where we keep paying lip service to the notion that everything is for the kids... do the only adults in the mix like to argue so much?
For the past 25 years the perspective I know best is coaching. But recently I've had the opportunity (?) - more like obligation - to serve as a tournament director. It's something I have had to do more than once but likely never again.
Two things about being a T.D. make it a unique experience.
- Most coaches worry about one team vs everyone else who is the opposition. As a T.D. you want to see all teams have a fair chance, can't pick favorites - especially as one team may be going onward to represent your region on any even bigger stage.
- You spend a lot of time with the guy who becomes your new best buddy for the weekend, the tournament's umpire in chief. I know what you're thinking. But I learned a lot that could make me better as a coach in those situations where judgment is a factor.
Because #1 above is fairly obvious and just means keeping your cool even when dealing with a coach you don't particularly like, I want to talk more about #2. I think if you have a better handle on the umpiring process you just might be able to gain an edge at critical times in your games.
You supposedly can't ever question a judgment call, but you can question the process and rule application. And sometimes if you put it the right way, you can influence future judgment.
The rest of this article is available for WebBall Team Players
and Team Managers
. It includes the following topics...
- Good Optics
- Good Mechanics
- Catcher Screen
- Double Play Help
- Tagging Up
- Right Way, Wrong Way
- Wandering Blue
- Looking for Clues
For years, WebBall's street address was - believe it or not - Argue Street. When asked on the phone to spell it, I had a stock reply... "a-r-g-u-e just like umpires and coaches"