This Thursday, I’ll be making my play-by-play debut for the season. I’m calling an area high school football season opener for a web streaming company here in the Twin Cities. In many ways, it’s no big deal! After all, I’ve done this for over a decade. However, after a roller coaster summer, it feels good to be getting back to work and to celebrate a small win!
Each year, I try to set goals designed to improve one or two areas of my broadcast, and I post it publically to hold myself accountable. This year I’ve decided to focus on two areas of my call:
- I want to eliminate or dramatically reduce passive verbiage and past tense language from my broadcasts. It’s an issue that I’ve been aware of and struggled with for a long time, but it’s been more important to work on other areas of my call. With the improvement I’ve already shown, it’s time to start working on some more subtle elements, and this is what I choose this year.
- The other kink I want to work out is to do a better job of using accurate and vivid descriptions without falling behind on the play. At times, especially on exciting plays, I get so into the description that I fall behind by a second or two on the play. I would prefer to use a simple description and keep up with play and then recap in more detail once the play is over. This shouldn’t be difficult, but it will definitely require building new habits.
I’ll have a detailed update as to what I’m doing and how everything came about next week, but for now, here are some updated resources for you to use this football season:
Football Glossary: I’ve been working on different ways to say specific football phrases for almost three years. Feel free to use any and all of them freely. I also would love suggestions for word variations to add to the list.
Spotting Boards: They are the backbone of our preparation, and everybody does them differently. Here are some of my thoughts and philosophies, and if you’re interested, I’m always willing to share my boards.
Blueprint to Broadcasting Success: This is the series of daily activities I’ve followed to improve as a broadcaster. It focuses on getting extra play-by-play reps, building vocabulary, and expanding your network of relationships. It takes 15-30 minutes per day, and the results come surprisingly fast.
Critique Crew: Sometimes it’s hard to get timely feedback from qualified broadcasters, especially in season. The SayTheDamnScore Critique Crew provides expert written feedback on your work in five business days.
Jay Sanderson Scorebook and Down Dial: My friend Jay Sanderson developed a football scorebook that makes keeping detailed stats and drive charts simple. I started using it last year and used it for every game. He also created a down dial, which is a device that makes adding up yardage on big plays easy, especially when they cross the 50 yard line. For someone like me who is mathematically challenged, the Down Dial is an absolute game changer. Also, if you use the promo code “Score” during check out, you get 10% off your order.
Good luck with football season, and when you’re on the air, remember to Say the Damn Score!