Thursday 17 December 2015

Why Officials Lose Focus

Outside pressures or personal life issues are a reality for all umpires and can certainly affect anyone’s mindset during a game. The better umpires are able to put all outside issues aside for the period of time necessary to do the job. Any umpires aspiring to that level of competence must be able to make themselves aware of the common things which happen during a game that can cause a lapse in focus. You can work 99 perfect overs out of 100 for the day and a lapse in concentration and focus in the final over can ruin not only your day but that of the players. Players resent the fact you were not “with it” on a vital decision. Strangely, most umpires are forgiven on a mistake at the start and it is quickly forgotten but the opposite happens at the business end of the game.

One pitfall that brings a lot of umpires undone is a relaxation together with the rhythm of a smooth game and he loses the edge that is necessary in a tight situation. A good golden rule to apply is to always use a smooth match as a reason to step up your concentration and focus thus eliminating the possibility of being caught by surprise in a tough situation.

Another (and possibly the most common) reason for loss of concentration and focus starts with a small scale lapse with far reaching consequences. For instance, your mind wanders for a moment causing you to be out of position for a run out. It’s a direct hit and the fielders are adamant it was out. You say not out and you may have got the call right. Reality tells you that you only had a 50/50 chance of being right, as you know you were out of position. This causes you to think too much about your lapse that leads to a loss of focus when the next appeal is made which could be as early as the next ball. The bottom line is not to allow anything that has occurred in the past effect your concentration and focus in the future.

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