Quarter time and a chance to get a few words from the coach.

Unfortunately, I am the coach so the word will come from me.

There are a couple of key learnings from this term which I plan to touch on here.

I’m now officially a quarter of the way through the UTAS Associate degree in Applied Business, specialising in Sport, Recreation and Leisure.

It’s been full on. Some people think I’m mad for trying to juggle a family, full time job and full time University studies and, to a degree (like the pun?), I guess I am.

There are so many topics within the course that I could cover here, some have already been blogged about, but on aspect I think is a great selling point to this course is the work integrated learning.

Through both term one and term two I have been lucky enough to be able to use real world experience and on the job tasks as assessment pieces and case studies for the course. For example, I devised an umpire recruitment plan for work, it just happened that an assessment task for term two was to create a campaign. This assessment task brought a really good mark, just a pity it was only worth 30% of the overall mark and not the 50% overall mark!

I think it is a strength of the course that work experience can be used. It makes the course a lot more accessible and lightens the workload.

It’s not just work, some students in the course have been using there experience as volunteers at several clubs around the state displaying an understanding of the topics and benefitting their respective clubs by taking part in the course.

Then there is the team work aspect.

WGruffshen I played hockey, cricket, footy and even rugby the team was key. Anything for my team mates but since my last game as part of a hockey club when I blew my hip up I’ve been on individual pursuits.

Umpiring cricket is very individualistic and, in a lot of cases, a very selfish pursuit. We talk about on field team work and how we work as part of a collective but 90% of what is learned and taken into a game is done individually. There are situations where umpires come together but I wonder how much of the team ethos is really being displayed. In my experience, hockey team mates would take you to the hospital if you needed it, drive your car home, help you move house or just drop by for a stubby after work. Cricket team mates will lend you a bat, come to your wedding and, again, have a stubby with you after a game.

I haven’t seen much of this in seven years in the umpiring world.

I wouldn’t know the wives of more than half of the umpires, if they have kids, where they work or what sort of music they like. Umpiring is such an individual pursuit but we are told to bring our families along for the ride on the pathway, wherever that may lead us. But we seem so reluctant to this. We keep business and pleasure separate. We work out alone, we run alone, we study the Laws of Cricket alone and we often suffer in silence when things don’t go well. We certainly don’t celebrateUnpacked Bag our success as a group. If nothing else we sit back and wonder why it isn’t us going to carnivals, umpiring at the MCG or even progressing from third grade into the twos.

If we as umpires really are a team, why don’t we act like one? The few social gatherings I have been to that haven’t been sanctioned events by a governing body have been great. Cards Against Humanity, BBQ, bring the kids, couple of stubbies and away we go.

Back to what I learned about teamwork. It’s been a while (as Staind once sang https://youtu.be/araU0fZj6oQ). I have always thought I worked well as a team player but learned in a big hurry that, like most things in life, teamwork is a case of use it or lose it. I struggled initially working with my cohorts due to not wanting to be the one not contributing and then feeling like I was taking the whole thing over. I relearned to listen to my partners and bounce ideas off each other. It was a great test of my skills, which I think I passed.

So, it’s a couple of weeks off and then into the units “Business Finance” and “Sports Administration”.

Looking forward to starting the second quarter and, with any luck, learning as much about myself as I am the units.

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