During the Scottish boys U16 and boys U18 inter-district tournament, the European Hockey Federation organized in cooperation with Scottish Hockey an Umpires / Umpires coaches workshop. The participants came from Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The conductor at this event was Philip Schellekens from the Netherlands. Philip’s career as a UM is remarkable: He was a UM at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as both Indoor and Outdoor Hockey World Cups, Champions Trophy and several other EHF and FIH competitions.
On Friday evening Philip did a presentation about management, entitled: Management is the key. Using the videos “Eagles vs Ducks” (See YouTube), Philip laid out the few core principles for the workshop: Clear Communication is one our the main goals. The umpire coaches received examples how to communicate clearly and efficiently, e.g. from “You had to give a green card at the stroke!!” to “Did you consider any options at the stroke??”
Philip explained the format for the feedback sessions. Philip only wanted to hear two questions:
1/ What went well during your game?
2/ What can you improve?
The session on Friday evening ended with clips with examples of management. Staying focused during the game is the start of recognising and assessing different situations.
On Saturday and Sunday all games were followed by a feedback sessions. The challenge was to give feedback in a positive manner. This was a challenge for both umpires and umpire coaches, but it was remarkable to see how umpires immediately improved when the feedback was both given in a positive way and taken in a positive way. Important to remember: Sometimes a message should not be discussed and should just be taken on board.
Umpires experienced a totally new and positive way of receiving corrections and feedback, and umpire coaches learned a new way to give corrections and general feedback from a positive, open and trusting place.
A word of thanks needs to be addressed to Scottish Hockey and specially, to Colleen Reid who made this event possible.
A last word of thanks also to Philip Schellekens who was the conductor of this successful event.
Richard Cowan, IRELAND
Michael Gibson, SCOTLAND
Joe Astley, WALES
Julie Beamish, IRELAND
Zenia Howe, IRELAND
Ian Diamond, SCOTLAND
David Leighton, WALES
Local Umpires umpiring at tournament
Source: Thomas Eilmer/EHF