Friday 21 September 2018

Choosing to be Positive

Over the years, I have seen many good umpires (myself included) put in sub-standard performances simply because we have decided not to be positive. We have let other emotions like fear, anxiety and negativity take over our thought processes. I have spoken before about the use of ‘self-talk’ and how important it is – how many of us have said to ourselves “I hope that he doesn’t bowl from my end”, ‘I hope that I don’t make any mistakes today” and “I don’t like umpiring at this ground or umpiring that team’?

Do you think positively or negatively?
Firstly, let’s establish whether you think positively or negatively. Can you answer ‘yes’ to all of the following statements?
- I have a ‘can do’ attitude
- I display good body language
- I enjoy umpiring
- I don’t blame others for what happens to me
- I can stay calm when things go wrong
- I can concentrate in practice and in the game
- I don’t need to try and impress others
- I am accepting of other peoples’ strengths and weaknesses
If you answered “no” to any of the above, then you have some work to do in improving your pattern of thinking and self-confidence. As a cricket umpire, you are often your own worst critic and when things get tough, you might be subconsciously destroying yourself. So, let’s look at some ways to build some strength in self-confidence and self-belief.

Building Confidence and a Positive Attitude
1. Build on experience
As we umpire games, we build experience on what works for us and what doesn’t. We get more knowledge of what to expect in all sorts of different situations. It is vital that we take the good things out of our games and write them down to demonstrate our abilities – then we have something to refer back to when times are tough.
It is also just as vital to learn from our experience and mistakes. The more mistakes we make, the more we learn! Well… we should and Bennett King’s philosophy is that it is ok for one of his players to make a mistake but it is terrible if he makes the same mistake twice. It is important to remain positive after making a mistake by seeing that there is an opportunity to learn something from it and get better after it.

2. Preparation (covered fully in Module 2)
Confidence comes from success and success comes from thorough preparation. Every game you umpire is like an examination of your umpiring qualities – so, with good preparation, you can go into every match feeling as though you have done everything possible to prevent situations that might bring about pressure or stress.
The right preparation in diet, sleep and exercise can make you feel physically good. The right mental preparation in terms of Laws and playing conditions knowledge, players and ground facilities will assist in feeling mentally good. How you feel has an impact on how you think. If you feel good and positive then you are more likely to think positively – thus begins the most important vicious cycle.

3. Develop a positive attitude
Good preparation and feeling positive begins the process of training the brain to be positive – the more you think positively, the more you literally put your brain onto auto pilot. Use the positive comments that you receive to continue to build your self-confidence.
It is important to think about what you are going to do next, not what happened last – file mistakes for later and objectively examine them to use as a learning tool. Every time you talk to yourself, make it positive and when negative thoughts or doubts start to enter your mind – turn them around and focus on the good things.

4. Keep your head where your body is
We do not have control over the past or the future, so don’t let your mind wander into those zones when you are umpiring or practicing. You only have control over the present, so that is where you need to keep your mind and focus. This is easier said than done, but can be done with constant practice. When you walk out to umpire, it is important to remember that your performance on the day is all that matters.
One good way to keep your head where your body is, is to develop lots of short term goals. Short term goals like – focus only on the next ball, to work hard on the 1st over after lunch, to get through to the next drinks break.

5. Visualise
Prior to any game that you umpire, take some time to think in some quiet time to picture yourself on the field in full control of what you are doing. Visualise yourself arriving at the game, calling play, making a good decision and walking off feeling strong and positive. Picture and expect positive outcomes. Visualise and expect the unexpected.

6. Listen to your body
Be aware of how you feel and act on it. When you feel yourself getting stressed and frustrated, you are more likely to overreact and focus on the negative. You need to turn these feelings around quickly and go back to all the positives and good things.
If you are feeling physically sore, then stop exercising or whatever is creating the soreness – get some relief and feel good. If you feel down or depressed then do something that will cheer you up – spoil yourself as you deserve it. Remember, when you feel good you will be in a positive frame of mind.

7. Make positive statements continually
If you can think it, then you can achieve it. Whatever you think in your mind can be willed into your real world. Think positive outcomes and you will get positive outcomes.
- I am a good umpire
- I am a good person
- I make good, confident decisions
- I can easily focus my concentration and manage the match
- I will do well and succeed

I trust that you have identified if you need to address your type of thought process. The objective is to be more positive in the way we approach our umpiring matches and practice sessions. Look at mistakes as learning opportunities and look to build confidence through experience, good preparation, visualisation and positive self-talk. Take control of your thoughts – make the conscious decision to be positive and you will achieve more.
Courtesy of Simon Taufel

Sunday 9 September 2018


Introduction Peak performance is all about your ability to focus your concentration on the important things within sport. If you have put in the hard work, the training, worked on your skills and done the homework, then often success on the day depends upon how well you can focus your concentration. Focusing your concentration is a skill that you can work on and control. Consistent performance in sport is all about being in control of yourself. You need to acknowledge that there will be things that happen on the day outside of your control, people around you, the environment / venue – they can all potentially upset your performance, however, you can use these as triggers to increase your concentration. If something happens that is unexpected, you need to be able to react to it in a positive way to get the best out of that situation, which is a key skill of focusing – not to have your concentration and focus distracted.

Improving Your Focus One of the most important aspects of being able to improve focusing your concentration is to practice by simulating game situations. What are the different types and times of concentration required in cricket umpiring? Things like:
- The start of the match or a session
- When an error or a mistake is made
- When you are distracted by something outside the game or ground
- Starting a new over from your end
- After a wicket has fallen
- After a break in play – interruption, ball change, batsman injured

Match Simulation Exercises Yes, visualisation is an important component here, but more work can be done when you attend practice sessions in the nets for example, so pretend that events in front of you are happening in a match. If that did happen in a match, what would I do? Put yourself under some pressure at training to be able to make training as close as possible to match conditions, that way you’ll find that your performance in a match will come automatically, because a match to you is nothing different from what you have done at practice.

- How can you work with your coach to make the events at practice more like a match experience?
- How can we make more decision making exercises more match simulated?
Perhaps get the bowlers to appeal like it’s the last hour of the match with three wickets to get. Perhaps create a scenario where the batting side require 30 runs in the last 20 mins and the fielding side require two wickets – put your decisions and concentration under pressure and practice focusing your concentration. The key here is to answer appeals and make decisions as you would in a game – the same goes for how you talk to players and respond to appeals.

How can you work with your coach to put your knowledge of playing conditions and Laws to the test under match simulated conditions? Most of us attend practice sessions at major cricket grounds – perhaps you could create a match situation from a domestic one day game where there was a rain interruption and you left the field with your partner and entered the room and had to recalculate the match parameters under a possible start in 30 minutes?
What about practicing the judgement and procedure of offering the batsmen the light as your training session comes to a close around sunset? Get a light meter and have the coach play the role of the fielding captain who doesn’t want to come off?

Practice working with your partner and drawing out your knowledge of Laws and playing conditions under simulated pressure so that doing it in a real game comes automatically.

In doing these exercises, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. In fact, it is probably a good thing that you do make plenty of mistakes at practice – this is precisely the place to make them. What you will find is that you learn more from making mistakes and that once that bad emotion of making a mistake is realised, you’ll never forget what the right answer or course of action was. As cricket umpires, we can all remember our major mistakes in terms of decisions, Laws or playing conditions.
- Why do we remember these events so vividly and why do we know that we’ll get it right
next time that same situation happens?
- Because emotion is the key to memory – good and bad emotions. So, by putting ourselves under pressure at training and making a mistake at training is a good thing as we’ll remember our errors and ensures that we get the right answer when it is really important…in a game.
Routines Another way to improve focusing is through routines – pre match routines and routines during the match. One of the keys to being able to perform and focus your concentration under pressure is to know exactly what you are going to do and exactly how you are going to handle certain events. So, think about what your pre match routines are and whether they are putting you in the right frame of mind to be able to focus your concentration – use your coach to test your theories. Remember that routines give you a structure or framework with which to work when you are under pressure which is important.

Preparation Are your concentration efforts and performances in matches consistent? Is the level of your concentration consistent for all types and levels of cricket that you umpire – 1st grade to 1st class?
If not, then think about your preparation for these games. Are your preparation routines consistent? If your preparation routine is not consistent, then chances are, your concentration and performances are not. Part of the preparation for cricket umpiring needs to include planning for “what ifs” or having “plan B’s”:
- What happens if I make a mistake early in the game – what am I going to do to get my focus and concentration back?
- What if it rains – do I know how to confidently recalculate the match parameters?
- What if I get stuck in traffic – is there enough time to still get to the ground and prepare?
- What if that captain or player gives me a hard time – how will I react and what will I do? All these things allow you to have a chance at being mentally “right” before the game.

The key to being able to properly focus your concentration is to be able to control your own reactions to your environment (the things around you). It’s got a lot to do with the plans that you have for controlling the environment, how you are going to react to situations that occur, how you segment up your performance, what goals that you set and it’s got a lot to do with what your concentration is like at training.

Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect. If you really want to change, you have to practice perfectly – that is, with attention and intention. Attention is keeping your mind on what you are doing while you are doing it, and intention is having a definite purpose that will give meaning to all your effort.

Acknowledgement– This information for cricket umpires was put together with material sourced
from the South Australian Institute of Sport.

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Effective Communication for Umpires

Effective Communication

Possessing good interpersonal communication skills is one of the great strengths of an effective umpire. To become effective communicators, umpires need to be skilled in the following areas:
Written communication
Verbal communication
Active listening/talking
Awareness of the barriers to effective listening
Strategies and techniques to improve communication

Without effective communication skills and an ability to get messages across, match officials are not capable of managing a match satisfactorily. This process of effective communication is based around understanding how messages need to travel with the use of written, verbal and body language and how messages can be “blocked” or stopped by “barriers”. The use of the right verbal, body and written techniques can make the task of getting the message across very simple and highly effective.

Effective Verbal Communication
It is widely known and accepted that non verbal communication (body language, facial expressions and tone of voice) has more impact than verbal communication. However, we still must make every effort to make what we say effective!
These 6 C’s should provide some direction for such improvement:-
1. Present information Clearly
2. Be Concise and not long winded
3. Provide Correct information that is not misleading
4. Give Complete information, not just bits and pieces
5. Be Courteous to who you are communicating with
6. Provide Constructive Criticism to stakeholders in the game

Communication openers How often would you use these phrases currently? It is best to use questions to start a conversation or continue it to reach an acceptable outcome. ie. The messages have been clearly understood.
1. May I ask a question?
2. Before we make a decision, let’s review the options
3. Can we stop for a second and look at the way we’re approaching the problem?
4. I’d like to go back a step and clear up something I don’t quite understand
5. I don’t know much about that. How about you?
6. Were you aware that …..?
7. Maybe we should reconsider your approach
8. I have an idea I’d like to share sometime
9. Would you tell me more about what you just said
10. Let me ask for some ideas on how I can go ahead with this
11. What other ways can we think of?
12. If we followed your idea through, what difference would it make?
- Note the focus / theme of “we” and “us”!
- Never use blocking or confrontational verbal or non verbal language

Understanding: The same words often don’t mean exactly the same thing to any two individuals.
e.g. This is what I understand you are saying
or I think you mean
Note: responses should take account of their feelings i.e. don’t just repeat their words like a parrot.
Beware not to send your own message in your own words

Building Rapport and Communication Skills with Players
What does this involve?
- Finding common ground
- Taking an interest in the other person
- Being a human being – taking an opportunity to show people you are human
- Don’t try too hard to build rapport – look for the opportunities
- Use of first names

Dealing with Captains prior to the match
- Introduce yourself, your partner and reacquaint prior to the match
- Ask a question or two about their world
- Clarify any necessary playing conditions / facilities
- Ask them for any queries
- Let them know that the umpires are approachable at all times

Dealing with Captains post match / end of day
- Bowler’s actions to review?
- Player behaviour issues?
- Clarify starting time for the next day if necessary
- Post match meeting
- Player feedback if necessary

What communication is appropriate with players?
- A positive comment about the match
- Recognition of a milestone
- Recognition of a debut / selection
- A positive comment about a performance
- Working / managing a bowler with his feet placement
- Progress on over rates

Verbal and non verbal intimidation from players
- It’s natural in sport and it’s going to happen – it’s not about you
- Don’t let the situation get to you
- Preparation and visualising a positive outcome will help: Make an effort (when appropriate) to pass a positive comment to build rapport / respect, which will make it easier in the tough times.

Positive Body Language
- Builds closeness and trust: Sends signals without words
Consists of the following behaviours:
S face the other person squarely
O adopt an open posture
L lean slightly toward the other person
D at a distance apart of about 1 metre
E keep good eye contact
R try to be relaxed

Active listening is more than just hearing. It involves focussing on the message (content / intent) and your understanding of the message only.
Five good listening tips:
1. Listen attentively: All gestures and facial expressions should show acceptance and attention.
2. Listen reflectively: Repeat what was said. The official, by restating in ordinary speech what the player said, is able to check that the content of the communication was understood. It also enables the official to check the feeling of the competitor’s message was correctly interpreted.
3. Avoid emotional responses: Have you ever noticed how listening stops when an exchange gets heated? Stay rational and not emotional.
4. Try bridging: A nod of the head, a throaty noise without words or an occasional “yes” helps the listener to know you’re tuned in.
5. Don’t interrupt: Don’t interrupt means don’t interrupt!

Strategies and techniques to improve communication
Improving communication: Like anything, interpersonal communication can be improved through practice. Use the following tips to improve your interpersonal communication skills.
1. Use feedback: Two-way communication allows both sender and receiver to search for verbal and non-verbal cues (eyes, body movement, etc) in order to establish understanding.
2. Use face to face communication: Accurate feedback is nearly always achieved more efficiently through face to face communication rather than over the telephone or through written means.
3. Be sensitive to the receiver’s situation: Individuals differ in their values, needs, attitudes and expectations. Empathizing with those differences will improve our understanding of others and make it easier to communicate with them.
4. Use direct simple language: The more accurately that words and phrases are tailored to the receiver’s situation, the more effective the communication will be.

Courtesy of ICC 

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Positioning for Cricket Umpires

Why is positioning important?
Positioning is important for a number of reasons:-
1. To be in the best possible position to make a decision
2. To avoid being in the way of the fielding side (line of sight and not obstruct the path of the ball)
3. To see all that you need to see – best position 
4. To give the perception and confidence to the players that the decision made is the correct one. It is an indicator of alertness, concentration, ability to read the game, fitness and stamina.

Summary of Activities
1. Positioning / Stance at the bowler’s end
2. Getting into side on position at the bowler’s end (normal)
3. Getting into side on position at the bowler’s end (“V”)
4. Positioning / stance at square leg
5. Positioning at square leg with injured striker (4 examples)

1. Bowlers’ end umpire positioning technique
Stand in line with middle stump so that you have a clear view of the popping crease. After the first over from the other end, you may be able to use the middle stump mark made by the batsmen to line up your position behind the stumps – line up the mark with the middle stump every time you get back behind the stumps at the bowler’s end. Work with the bowler on where to stand if he requests further back or closer than you normally feel comfortable. When standing back, if you have to look through the stumps at the crease, adjust your position slightly so that you see the bowler’s front foot heel between the stumps.

If you are not familiar with the bowler’s delivery action, it may be best to stand a little further back to ensure there is no infringement with the back foot. Once you are comfortable that this is not an issue for consideration, it may be more comfortable to move a pace closer to the stumps.

Watch the bowler return to his mark and as he turns (after an over or so, it may not be necessary to do this), face the striker and switch on to full concentration. Take up your preferred position and do not leave it until the ball has been delivered and played into the field. Stress to the participants that they should not move away from that position behind the stumps when answering an appeal – give the decision first and then move.

Positioning depth may be different for fast and slow bowlers. It is becoming more common for fast bowlers to tell you exactly where they want you to stand – accommodate these requests where possible, but don’t stand too far back if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Standing too far back has its disadvantages with judgement of the front foot and the extra time it takes to get to the popping crease. For slower bowlers, it helps to stand closer (1 metre) to assist with decision making. Stand where you feel most comfortable – to be able to make better judgements and get into position in time – if you are out of these comfort zones then you need to develop strategies to compensate.

Be ready and willing to work with the bowler if he wishes to know where his front foot is landing. Establish a consistent approach to advising bowlers in this way. Be proactive if he is gradually creeping on the line. Rapport with the bowlers is a vital ingredient in an umpire’s ability to effectively handle a match.

Give guard from over the top of the stumps at the bowler’s end with further checks being done from where you would normally stand for a delivery. Know the terminology, one leg (leg stump), two legs (middle and leg - halfway between middle and leg). If the batsman shows you the full face of the bat and asks for “two please” he wants “two legs” and the bat should cover both the middle and leg stump. Always repeat to the batsman what he said to you – i.e. If he asked for middle stump then in reply say “That’s middle stump there”.

Differentiate the difference between where you may stand for a fast bowler compared with a slow bowler. The key remains to keep your head still and move the eyes only – speed and practice is important in training focus.

2. Getting into side on position at the bowler’s end (normal) after the ball is struck.
Getting into position with the ball going to mid wicket or cover. The objective is to move quickly, to get in line with the popping crease and then move backwards – stopping and having the head still to make the judgement. It does not matter which side you go to – comfort is the key but the preferred side is the same side as the ball when it goes square of the wicket). If the umpire cannot make it into position in time, then the best alternative is to stop, be still, have eyes level and make the judgement from a stationary position, rather than be on the move.

3. An alternative situation where the ball goes into the “V” – to mid on or mid off.
Here the umpire must go to the opposite side to the ball. The objective is to move quickly, comfortably and get in line with the popping crease asap and then move backwards – to stop and have head still when making the judgement. Must go opposite side in this case – pay particular attention to speed, running backwards (not turning back on ball) and getting into line. If the umpire cannot make it into position in time, then the best alternative is to stop, be still, have their eyes level and make the judgement from a stationary incorrect position, rather than be on the move in an incorrect position.

After the ball is struck into the field, it is current practice for most umpires to move to the same side as the ball. A clear view of the stumps being broken is the major factor here. This technique is a personal thing and you should always feel comfortable where you place yourself. Always be aware however of the fielders in “the arc” between extra cover and mid wicket. If you place yourself between the ball and the stumps, you may obstruct or impede a fielder in his attempt to field the ball or have a clear throw at the wicket. On these occasions, when the ball is hit into the “V” you must move to the opposite side to that which the ball is hit. Anticipation is the key as is the constant noting of where the fielders in the arc are placing themselves. Should there be a problem seeing if the wicket was fairly broken you can and should consult with your colleague in the normal way.

4. Positioning / Stance for the umpire at striker’s end
Stand no more than 20 metres deep (the length of a pitch), a couple of paces closer for a slow bowler or when no fielders are located near you if you feel comfortable. Move further back if asked by a fielder but try never to be more than 25 to 30 metres away. Stand in line with the popping crease splitting your stance.

When the keeper is standing back, watch the bowler run in and deliver the ball. Always watch for hit wicket before following the ball into the outfield. Keep your head still.

When he keeper is standing up at the stumps, do not watch the bowler deliver the ball, keep your head still and watch the batsman’s back foot in relation to the popping crease – listen for the breaking of the stumps on a stumping appeal.

Once the ball is hit - watch for catches carrying and batsmen crossing. Signal to partner if required.

Cross to off side if the sun or glare, or fielders in your line make the seeing conditions unsatisfactory. When crossing for left/right handed batsmen, anticipate the need to change and begin walking in while the ball is still in play. This will allow you to be in position without having to run by the time the bowler begins his run up.

Be watchful of fieldsmen behind you and always check for possible behind square leg infringements – especially important in limited overs matches with left and right hand batsmen fields. If there is a deep field very square behind you, move over to point.

Stand side on to the stumps to watch both the ball and the running batsmen making their ground. Only turn back to face the wicket when the ball has been returned past you. This will eradicate any chance of being hit by the ball when it is being thrown towards the wickets.

Courtesy of the ICC 

Monday 3 September 2018

Crease Markings

Dear Sir,

I would like to raise one issue regarding width of the crease markings, which varies from ground to ground. As a result of this, most of the umpires find it difficult to judge No balls, stumping & Run outs, too. If the width of the marking is increased to 2" (inches), I feel it will help umpires to decide where exactly front foot lands with a greater width of the marking, I am of the opinion that the width of the marking should be laid down with prescribed measurement of 2 inches. It should be made  mandatory and may be included in the Law:7 THE CREASES.

I am very much sure that this will make a difference to decide No balls, Stumping & Run outs, with a better clarity. Keeping the width of the marking too small, say 1 to 1 & half inches, is not suffice and umpire does not get better view of landing front foot. I, therefore, feel that the Governing Body of the MCC or the ICC, must look into the issue and implement at the earliest in all first class matches as well as all Ltd overs matches.

These are my personal views of my 35 years of experience in Cricket Umpiring. I am BCCI panel scorer, too.

Thanking you, 

Yours faithfully,
Suhas Sapre
Hi Suhas

I agree that this is an issue worth pursuing with the ICC. I note that the width of the crease lines is not mentioned in Law 7 or Appendix C. I agree there should be standardization. In my time I have seen lines as narrow as 10mm and as wide as 75cm.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Having a Positive Attitude

Positive Attitude
Your attitude will have a direct impact on your performance. You can choose the attitude that you take into a match (or your everyday life).

Defining Attitude
Attitude is the 'state of mind with which you approach a situation or look at the world.'
It is part of what you bring to the match. It is demonstrated by how you act and react. It is how you feel and how you make others feel. It can be seen to be positive or negative. Attitude affects performance.

Your attitude that you take out onto the ground will have a significant impact on the quality of performance and certainly affect other people’s perception of your performance.
What is a positive mental attitude?
‘There is little difference between people, but the little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.’
Attitude is contagious. Would you like someone to catch yours?
Attitude is:
Internal - how we think and how we feel, our mindset. This is the voice inside that can send positive messages and reinforce positive behaviours or it can eat away at our confidence. This can be emotionally and physically draining.
External - the way we communicate this mind set to others. Our behaviour is the personification of our attitude.

Success! Which do you choose?
To a large extent we can determine the level of success we achieve by adopting characteristics that are associated with being successful. There is no guarantee that we will achieve our goals but at least with the right mind set we create the space in which we can give ourselves a chance to be successful. Successful people display the following

Success characteristics versus Limiting characteristics
1. expects a good performance 1. fears failure
2. positive attitude 2. negative attitude
3. optimistic outlook 3. pessimistic outlook
4. positive personal belief 4. negative personal belief
5. excellent people skills 5. poor people skills
6. seizes opportunity 6. procrastinates
7. sense of urgency 7. risk avoidance
8. proactive creator 8. reactive complainer
9. knowledgeable 9. uninformed
10. anticipates challenge 10. denies challenges
It may seem easy to choose the 'success characteristics' but it may be easier not to choose them!

Really Successful Attitudes
By incorporating these attitudes into our officiating personality and manner when we umpire we will be recognised as having a positive attitude. This positive attitude gives us the opportunity to be successful. For each of these, consider where you are at now and how you could make changes to officiating style.
warm helpful
enthusiastic engaging
confident laid back
supportive patient
relaxed welcoming
obliging cheery
curious interested
resourceful courageous
The Power of a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude helps you cope more easily with the events that occur during a match and makes it easier to avoid distractions and negative thinking. With a positive attitude you expect the best to happen.
A positive attitude gives you the strength to believe in your ability to be successful.
By choosing to adopt a positive attitude it provides the mental excuse to behave consistently. A person with a negative attitude is more likely to display less predictable behaviours. Other participants (players and captains in particular) in the match respect consistent and predictable behaviours.

Your attitude is your choice
Having a positive attitude can affect not just yourself but everybody around you as well.
People tend to trust those with a positive attitude. People will go to the person with the positive attitude because they have confidence in the person to make rational and reasonable decisions.
A positive attitude says you believe you can achieve success. A positive attitude is not a guarantee of success but is a pillar on which success can be achieved.
A positive attitude provides motivation to get through rough situations. There will be times in a match (and in life) when our knowledge, ability and credibility will be challenged. A positive attitude gives us many of the tools to remain confident that we are competent to do the job.

Attributes of a Successful Umpire
Umpires were surveyed to identify the attributes they believed were displayed by the elite level of umpires. These were the top 20.
How many of these are determined by your choice of attitude?
1. excellent knowledge (Laws etc)
2. strength of character
3. empathy
4. flexibility
5. happy
6. supportive
7. tells the truth
8. honest
9. eager
10. compassion
11. integrity
12. enthusiastic
13. reliable
14. fair
15. assertive
16. positive
17. forgiving
18. friendly
19. creative
20. loyal
It turns out that 18 of the 20 are your choice. You can choose to successful by having a positive attitude. These are a reflection of the attitude that you take into the match.

Consciously choosing a Positive Attitude
Each day we have the power to choose our attitude that we take into the day. Most of us tend to let our circumstances choose our attitude for us. We're in a good mood as long as we get up on time, the kids cooperate and get to school on time, the car starts without a problem, we don't encounter any traffic jams on the way to work, the boss doesn't yell, our workload is manageable, etc. This system can work fine as long as everything runs smoothly in our lives.
But that's not always the case, is it? Situations don't always adhere to our expectations. Accidents happen. Delays happen. Spouses and bosses can be difficult to please. Vehicles break down. Kids may resist our efforts to keep the schedule running smoothly. What happens to our attitude then? If we don't make the effort to consciously choose a positive attitude, we run the risk of developing a negative one at random.
How would our lives change if we consciously chose a positive attitude each day? For starters, we'd feel much happier about our lives. We'd feel more motivated about pursuing our dreams because we'd believe in the possibilities for making them a reality. We'd be able to enjoy the time spent with our friends and families more, because we'd want to share our joy with others.
We'd feel strong and empowered in our ability to do anything we set our minds to. We'd be able to overcome challenges with ease because we'd have a strong belief in our own skills and abilities. We would pause to enjoy the smaller, more precious moments in life, without feeling pressured to do more, be more, or prove our worthiness. Never forget to take to time to remember that the big world out there is not part of the negatives that we are feeling.
Simply choosing a positive attitude does not mean that our lives will proceed without 'speed humps' that will be placed in out path. Choosing a positive attitude will give us the attitude and skill set to cope with these hurdles. A positive attitude does not protect us from these events in our working environment.
Choosing a positive attitude is a process. We don't just choose it once and expect everything to be perfect from that moment on. We will still experience setbacks, delays, accidents, frustrations, arguments, fatigue, and fear. The secret is how we choose to react to these experiences. Do we want to let them ruin our day, or do we choose to pick ourselves up and look hopefully to the future again? We do have the power to choose.
By choosing a positive attitude each day, we are actually attracting more positive experiences, and reducing the likelihood of negative experiences. You may have noticed that each experience often determines the quality of the next experience, causing a chain reaction in our lives. If one little thing goes wrong, it can throw off our plans for the rest of the day. In this context, it's easy to see how a positive attitude would be powerful. Rather than allowing one little thing to ruin our day, we would be able to shrug it off and continue on without a hitch.
Over time, this resiliency begins to strengthen and empower us, which will show through in our demeanour. And it all begins with a little thing called attitude! Again, this is a process, so go easy on yourself if you're trying to adopt a more positive attitude. Simply focus on developing a stronger awareness of your attitude moment to moment in your daily experiences, and begin choosing a more positive one more often. It takes time to realize the full benefits of this type of mindset, but it is time well-spent.

Positive Affirmations
When events around us start to cloud our judgement and interfere with rational decision making it can be helpful to have a phrase that we can refer to that will affirm or ability or skill.
Below are some that may be of use:

How to display a Positive Attitude on the field
Choose to be:
- Positive - Set yourself to have a good day. Prepare well.
- Enthusiastic - This begins with the first contact you have at the ground.
- Responsive - Be prepared to have appropriate conversations
- Friendly - Remember we are there to enjoy the environment
- Quick with a smile - Meet and greet with a smile. Set the tone for the day.
- Courteous and professional - Present well both physically and in your manner
- Approachable and communicate at a personal level when appropriate
- Have a sense of humour and know when to impart it.
Having a positive attitude just makes us feel better and when we feel better we do better.
This is a comment from a captain during a recent match:
___________ was personable, and made the game enjoyable to be part of. Would be happy to have ____________ in the future."
This comment is a reflection of an umpire who chose to take a positive attitude into the match.
People tend to respect those with a positive attitude. Being positive says you believe you can perform even when under pressure.

Overcoming Setbacks
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life ... as by the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.’
During everyone's career there will be times when you think you have been hard done by. Maybe a match appointment that you were hoping for did not eventuate. There may have been a match in which you thought you performed well but only received criticism from the captain.
How you move on from this is largely a choice between being positive or negative. To persevere through adversity will be seen by those that judge you as being strength and when the opportunity does come along you will be more likely to succeed.
Believe in you ability.
Look for solutions and see an obstacle as an opportunity to grow.
Article courtesy of ICC and Barrie Rennie, Umpiring Coordinator of WACA, and the Western Australian Cricket Association for their kind permission to reproduce this document