I was going through some of my pictures recently and caught this one, and I immediately thought of my fans! So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few thoughts on a valuable part of our game.
As a young softball player, we may get frustrated, show anger and attitude with a bad call or a strike zone that “we” do not think is good. I can remember having my share of struggles trying to find the umpires strike zone, being frustrated and being happy with it. As a young softball player, I know it’s difficult but here are some suggestions and tips from me to you
1. Every umpire has their own zone. As athletes, we know this. But the truth is sometimes we forget… especially, if it doesn’t match YOUR OWN zone. But it IS the zone and it IS up too you too find it, too stretch the limits of it, and use it to YOUR advantage.
1a. Just because he may not be calling a certain pitch a strike or a ball doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pitch it there, or you can't hit it. If it’s your favorite spot to hit… do it! If you know you can hit that pitch hard somewhere… hit it! If that pitch isn’t being called today it doesn’t mean it can’t set up a hitter, or more importantly, set up your next pitch. Don’t eliminate a side of the plate because the umpire isn’t calling it a strike.
2. Being frustrated, asking where that pitch missed every time, or constantly giving attitude to an umpire makes you look foolish and won’t get you anywhere.
- Bottom Line let your coach do the arguing for you. Or even better your catcher.
- Once in awhile it’s okay to show your surprise, but don’t make it a habit.
3. No one is perfect. Not even umpires… although we, as players, expect them to be.
4. Every umpire has good days and bad days and every umpire may miss a call or a pitch. Just like you on the softball field.
5. In the end, it’s up too you to make adjustments and to be better than a bad umpire without letting it affect your game, pitches, hitting or attitude.
In the end the best umpires establish their zone early and are consistent. No matter what their zone is, if it stays the same it’s up too you to make an adjustment.