Newly listed field umpire, Nick Brown is not far away from achieving his goal, “to umpire at least one AFL game.” As a fresh faced 14 year old Nick began boundary umpiring with the VAFA. He then switched to field umpiring the following year, realised his potential and hasn’t looked back since.
Nick was very keen to push himself hard at the beginning of his pre-season training. “Just prior to Christmas I started to feel very tired, I was doing seven sessions a week, including swimming, boxing and high intensity running. My sleep patterns weren’t consistent and my recovery was slow.” It was suggested that Nick rested for a week over Christmas, this advice has helped him to feel at his best fitness today.
Since being appointed to the list Nick has transformed his diet to assist in getting the best out of his body. “I have a friend who is a personal trainer and he is advising me about correct nutrition intake and ensuring that I have a healthy balance in all meals.” He has now reduced his skin folds by 15mm which proves that the hard work is paying off.
AFL field umpires undergo skin fold tests approximately every 6-8 weeks during the year, most umpires aim to test between 45-49mm which roughly equates to less than 10% body fat.
The pre-season training on the track has been enjoyable for Nick, “We have done a number of skills sessions in addition to our running sessions. “I enjoy the skill sessions as I feel that they are educational and have prepared me well for my first game.”
When we asked Nick if he is feeling prepared for the NAB Cup you can feel his genuine excitement, “I’m really looking forward to it, my preparation has been solid so far, I feel that I am at my best fitness, I have been working on my decision making and on field communication and now I will start looking at studying the teams that I will be umpiring in NAB cup.”
When it came to introducing himself to the umpiring group he was fully prepared to walk into the unknown, “I didn’t really know what to expect, I didn’t know how they interact as a group, but I was very keen to build relationships.” Field umpire, Jacob Mollison joined the list in 2008, he is providing support to Nick as his mentor, “before the first night of training Jacob called to see that I was ready to go.” Grand final umpires Mat Nicholls and Matt Stevic have provided great support on and off the track, along with Simon Meredith who encouraged Nick to have a coffee with AFL umpires coach Hayden Kennedy to build a friendly rapport. “We had a great chat, a coffee actually turned into breakfast!”
Nick is ready and rearing to go, with plenty of support and avenues for positive advice, there is no doubt that he will be umpiring his first AFL game in no time, then who knows, maybe even a grand final…. but we will let you get the first one out the way Nick, all the best!