It's easy to say "I have lots of self-confidence." But is it true? To find out if you actually are confident or not, here's a series of questions that will help you ascertain just how confident you are out on the diamond.
To be clear on what exactly confidence is, it's the belief that you can successfully perform a desired behavior. It's being able to stay in control during adversity. It doesn't mean you go out on the field thinking you're the best ever, and it doesn't mean you never get a call wrong or have any setbacks.
We all have games where it seems we can't do anything right and we'd rather forget about those games, but confident umpires don't let those games undermine their sincere belief that they are darn good at what they do.
So, with that in mind, let's find out how confident you actually are. But keep in mind that to get an accurate picture, you're going to have to answer the questions with complete honesty.
Answer on a scale of 1-3, with 1 being not confident, 2 being confident, and 3 being overconfident:
How confident are you that you can:
control an upset player or coach? ___
keep calm under pressure? ___
keep self-control? ___
communicate effectively with players and coaches? ___
concentrate throughout the game? ___
make tough calls decisively? ___
make critical decisions? ___
give the effort required to succeed? ___
improve your technique? ___
control your emotions? ___
be mentally prepared for your game? ___
deal effectively with an unruly crowd? ___
How are you doing so far? Ideally, you should be answering with a 2 for most questions. If you're overconfident, you might want to take a look at those specific questions, to make sure you're handling those situations properly and giving them the attention they deserve.
Similarly, if you're answering any questions with a 1, you're going to need to look at those instances and try to improve your performance.
Now it's time to assess your confidence in specific areas. Again, you have to be honest and, in this case, answer in as much detail as you can.
QUESTIONS, PART 2
When am I overconfident?
When do I seem unsure?
How do I react to trouble?
What situations do I not look forward to? And why?
How do I recover from making a bad call?
Is my confidence consistent throughout the game?
If not, when does it drop?
Do I look forward to and enjoy a tough assignment?
If not, why not?
In what situations am I indecisive or hesitant?
Answer thoroughly and honestly and you'll be able to see where work needs to be done.
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Cy Rigler, who was called up to the Major Leagues in 1906, is credited as being the first umpire to use arm signals to indicate balls and strikes, in 1905, while in the Minor Leagues. He did it so people in the outfield could more clearly follow the action. By the time he got to the Major Leagues the practice had already become widespread.
Canadian Bob Emslie, who made his Major League debut in 1890, was nicknamed "The Wig" by players because he often wore a wig on the field. His frazzled nerves from umpiring in the pre-1900 rough-and-tumble world of professional baseball had caused premature baldness. Emslie was also the base umpire when "Merkle's Boner" took place in 1908.
This Week's Umpire Quote
“Players and coaches can detect insincerity, and they know when you have second thoughts about your call. An umpire who hesitates is lost.”
- Durwood Merrill
Former MLB umpire
This Week's Quote That Applies To Umpiring
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. . . . We must do that which we think we cannot."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
former First Lady