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Blueprint To Broadcasting Success: Stepping It Up During the Off-Season

posted by Logan Anderson April 12, 2016 3 Comments

Great athletes use the regular season and playoffs to showcase their talent. However, great athletes don’t get great during the season; that’s what the off-season is for. Whether it’s Michael Jordan learning to play in the post, Peyton Manning gleaning the tendencies of every single defensive player and coach in the league, or Bryce Harper perfecting his home run swing; they require thousands of off-season reps to perfect.

 
As a sportscaster, I’m fortunate to cover both football and basketball. Unfortunately, I have very limited opportunities to cover baseball, which leaves me with almost six months with no games to call between basketball and football seasons. I’ve dedicated myself to becoming a great play-by-play broadcaster and those six months can’t be wasted. I have to use that time to add another pitch or three to my repertoire. For that reason, I’m adjusting the Blueprint to Broadcasting Success to increase the reps in the off-season.

Monday:
Use this day to self-critique using audio from a previous practice session. What did you do well? What did you do poorly? How can you fix it? This doesn’t have to be high-quality audio. Use a digital recorder, computer mic, or phone app. Focus on fixing weaknesses and experimenting with new descriptors.

Find a game on TV or YouTube, or stop by a local youth game live, and spend a minimum of 14 minutes calling the game. Do seven minutes of football and seven minutes of basketball. Try to spend even more time practicing, but use 14 minutes as a baseline. Use Smith and Jones as placeholder names and focus on pre-play setup, play description, and telling your imaginary audience why each play is important.

Read.

Tuesday:
Find a clip of a single play on YouTube and call the same play five times using different vocab each time. Keep notes of the descriptions used and on the last rep use descriptors that are completely ridiculous, you never know what might end up being the perfect word.

Reach out to someone in your network about something going on in their career.

Repeat the 14 minute play-by-play exercise above. Again, try to spend even more time honing your skills with active description.

Read.

Wednesday:
Practice again with a recorded or live youth league game. Do a minimum of seven minutes of football and seven minutes of basketball. Keep the focus on pre-play setup, descriptors, and serving your audience.

Listen to another broadcaster doing play-by-play for a minimum of ten minutes. This could be a professional broadcaster calling the pros or a local competitor calling high school. Write down five things you like and five things you don’t about the broadcast. If nobody is available to listen to, then look up a random talent page on STAA and listen to an air check.

Read.

Thursday:
Find a clip of another play on YouTube and call the same play five times using different vocab each time. Keep notes of the descriptions used and on the last rep use descriptors that are completely ridiculous, you never know what might end up being the perfect word.

Write an email asking for a critique from someone you admire. This could be someone you someday want to work for or a broadcaster or PD you don’t know. Follow up if you haven’t heard back after a week. If you still don’t hear back? On to the next one.

Complete yours reps — Find a game on TV, a game on YouTube, or stop by a local youth game live and spend a minimum of 14 minutes calling the game. Do seven minutes of football and seven minutes of basketball. Try to spend even more time practicing, but use 14 minutes as a baseline. Use Smith and Jones for everybody’s names and focus on pre-play setup, in play description, and telling your imaginary audience why each play is important.

Read.

Friday
Really, I wasn’t kidding about making this a daily thing. Find a game on TV, a game on YouTube, or stop by a local youth game live and spend a minimum of 14 minutes calling the game. Do seven minutes of football and seven minutes of basketball. Try to spend even more time practicing, but use 14 minutes as a baseline. Use Smith and Jones for everybody’s names and focus on pre-play setup, in play description, and telling your imaginary audience why each play is important.

Listen to a local high school broadcast. Be critical, but relax and enjoy the game. It is Friday after all.

Read.

Saturday
Find a game on TV, a game on YouTube, or stop by a local youth game live and spend a minimum of 14 minutes calling the game. Do seven minutes of football and seven minutes of basketball. Try to spend even more time practicing, but use 14 minutes as a baseline. Use Smith and Jones for everybody’s names and focus on pre-play setup, in play description, and telling your imaginary audience why each play is important.

Listen to a college or pro sports broadcast. Be critical, but feel free to kick back on this Saturday.

Read.

Sunday
Did you think Sunday was the day of rest? As they say, there’s no rest for the weary.

Find a game on TV, a game on YouTube, or stop by a local youth game live and spend a minimum of 14 minutes calling the game. Do seven minutes of football and seven minutes of basketball. Try to spend even more time practicing, but use 14 minutes as a baseline. Use Smith and Jones for everybody’s names and focus on pre-play setup, in play description, and telling your imaginary audience why each play is important.

Did I mention you should read?

I have already experienced huge improvements in the areas of varying vocab and improving the quality of my call by following this program. The one thing we can always control is work ethic and even though this won’t turn me into the Steph Curry of play-by-play overnight, it is making me a better version of myself every single day.

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3 Comments

Following The Blueprint: Month Six - SayTheDamnScore.com July 5, 2016 at 10:28 pm

[…] major part of why I posted my Blueprint to Broadcasting Success was so it could be helpful to other broadcasters. I also posted it for selfish reasons to hold […]

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Mastering The Language By Breaking Bad Habits - SayTheDamnScore.com July 11, 2016 at 5:49 pm

[…] the “Blueprint to Broadcasting Success” has been beneficial. The self-critique sessions have been valuable and I’ve been able to self […]

Reply
Following The Blueprint: Month Eight - SayTheDamnScore.com September 9, 2016 at 3:00 am

[…] off track. I missed more time in this month than I have during any month since I started the “Blueprint to Broadcast Success” in January. I still put in over three hours of practice, plus bits and pieces of the rest of […]

Reply

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