On Wednesday 25th of June a group of 10 field umpires gathered at Visy Park, to undertake their biweekly training session, commencing at 2pm. Due to the rain the previous day, ground one was quite soft making the field more difficult to train on.
Within the session the umpires executed a variety of drills and skills. These drills involved high and low intensity, agility, endurance, power and strength. Drills performed on field were; 300 metre sprints, suicides, throw ups and bounces, set kick control, kick out of defence and indicating free kicks correctly. After training for nearly two hours the umpires headed inside to do their weights session. Each umpire had their own set program, to work on their strengths and weaknesses. This program runs over the month, having eight session for every second night they train. The weights program, on their legs, arms or core.
Inside the Visy Park club rooms, the umpires share changing rooms with the Melbourne Rebels (rugby union team). The club rooms upstairs are setup as a massage and coaching room which looks onto the Carlton ground. Whilst downstairs is the weights room, changing rooms and the cold and warm spa baths.
Despite the session being very demanding, the umpires seem to really enjoy their time at training.
Having witnessed the umpires train was a privilege and is an experience I will remember and cherish for a long time.
By Hayley McDonald – currently completing work experience at the AFLUA.