Jack began umpiring with the Northern Football League in 2004 and not long after realised his potential and set himself a long term goal to umpire in the AFL, 11 years later Jack is thriving under the pressure of pre-season training as a newly listed AFL field umpire.
Jack’s family influence encouraged him to become involved in umpiring, “I wasn’t too good at playing AFL and Dad was an umpire so I got involved, I then realised that I was pretty good at it.”
The umpires endure a tough pre-season program, prior to Christmas Jack had planned his strict training regime, “to put myself in a good position for the year ahead I did a lot of running, I also mixed up my training by cycling, swimming and boxing every week. I have managed this work load well, it has helped me to run a good time trial.”
Jack’s positive energy towards his training couldn’t be overshadowed by a tough pre-season field umpires camp that was held last weekend. “I really enjoyed the camp, there was a major focus on fitness, it was like a boot camp, we were doing army crawls along the beach, and by working in teams made it a really enjoyable atmosphere.”
For any sportsperson it is important to maintain good recovery after strenuous exercise, particularly after the field umpires camp, Jack explained that he continued his “normal routine for a good recovery, we are provided with rollers and massage balls to assist us.” this equipment helps to release trigger points in tight muscles.
After meeting the umpiring group and coaches for the first time Jack was feeling very welcomed. “I was told not to be afraid to ask questions, I was invited to dinner with a senior umpire and the coaches have been really supportive ensuring that I am managing my work life balance.”
By day, Jack is a part time PE teacher, therefore once the season begins he will be able to distract himself from the demands of footy and concentrate on his teaching, as well as having the time to train and recover effectively.
Fellow field umpire Ben Ryan will work with Jack as his mentor throughout the season. “Ben and I work really well together because we are both PE teachers, having similar commitments really helps us to relate to each other.”
With the NAB Cup competition only weeks away Jack is very eager to get out there and umpire. Good luck Jack, we look forward to seeing you in middle holding the sherrin aloft.