Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters Commissioner Worley seeks re-election Republican challenger vies for Commissioner’s seat Charles Cooper Thelma J White Kayleigh L Crothers AEP Ohio employees support Breast Cancer Awareness Month WUHS holds annual Beta Club and Honor Society inductions When Saturday mornings belonged to the kids of the house Senior Profile: Gloria Purdin Green-White Night, OHSAA Meeting at WUHS on Nov. 9

An Umpire’s Perspective on Coach Behavior

UmpireUsed with permission of Game Changer/The Season

Carl Olsen has been on both sides of an argument.
Olsen coached his son’s baseball teams for 10 years and knows what it’s like to disagree with an umpire over a call. He’s also been an umpire for over 20 years and is fluid in how to handle a coach who is upset about a normal game situation.
Olsen, 76, who lives in Reno, Nevada, was quite busy around the Fourth of July umpiring a number of tournaments. Something really stood out to him in having to deal with so many coaches.
“There were some coaches that had an attitude kind of like the umpire is an enemy,” Olsen said. “You also see this across the board in sports officiating that the kids reflect the attitude of the coach. If the coach is complaining about how the game is called, the kids will complain.”
Olsen’s point: coaches need to be mindful that their attitude and how they present themselves on the diamond is important. Young players are very impressionable and coaches need to be aware of what they are saying and the actions they take. Coaches are a direct reflection of the program and players they work with.
Having interacted with thousands of coaches over the years, Olsen would estimate that 25 percent of the coaches he deals with in this day in age aren’t respectful of umpires and can be very combative.
“The high school coaches that have done this for a while, they each have their own reputation and they also know how to work the system a little bit better,” Olsen said. “You kind of get the pure reaction from a guy who maybe was a high-level player and they expect full combat. I would say typically at least three-quarters of (coaches) are good and maybe the top third of that are very good. Half of them are no worse than neutral, and then there’s always the pain-in-the-butt kind of guy you run into.”
Olsen emphasized a really experienced coach knows where the line is drawn in arguing a call and when they should step over it and when they shouldn’t.
A standard umpire approach to handling a coach who is questioning a call is known as verbal judo, noted Olsen.
“The verbal judo is when the coach comes out and you realize as the umpire you’ve got the biggest trump card in the deck because you can throw him out of the game if things get really crazy,” Olsen said. “But the idea is to say, what is this guy going to say? What is his point? I’m always interested when the coach comes to me with something that I’m not expecting, and I’m going to give him some latitude on that. He tells me what he saw, I tell him what I saw and usually that’s the end of it.
“The good coach will know when they’ve got a good argument and they pursue it and others will keep arguing just to argue.”
Olsen remembers officiating high school football games in the San Jose, California area over 25 years ago and working games that involved Saratoga High School and legendary coach Benny Pierce. He was a solid coach who ran a great program.
“If you missed a call, he didn’t say anything, but you’d look over and he would just be shaking his head, like, ‘No, you screwed that one up,’” Olsen said. “He didn’t have to say anything. In other words, you were respecting him and he was not the kind of guy who was going to call you out.”
Calling out an umpire is never the best approach.
Before and during a baseball game, Olsen will interact with the coaches and keep the lines of communication open. He wants to be very approachable to the coaches. Olsen also wants the players to feel comfortable with the game he’s officiating.
“As a coach, you’ve got a certain expectation,” Olsen said. “Let’s say that expectation is, ‘That umpire screwed me on this last game and I’m waiting for that to happen again.’ In other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is your expectation that something bad is going to happen and you’re just ready for that and you’re going to jump all over the guy? On the other hand, the good coach will know how to ask a question and they will teach their kids.”
Olsen cites one example of a relationship every game that needs to be smooth or there can be issues.
“Typically, the interaction between the catcher and the plate umpire in baseball is probably the most important single thing,” Olsen said. “A well-coached catcher will say, ‘Was that down or was that outside?’ As opposed to, ‘Why wasn’t that a strike?’
“Knowing how to choose your words carefully is the most important thing.”

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