5 tips to ensure you are welcome in the locker room


When I was covering San Diego Chargers and San Diego State Aztecs football in the early 90s, I would escort a female reporter friend of mine into the locker rooms. She would hold my elbow, keep her head down, and ask me to lead her to the players she wanted to talk to. Whether it was for religious or personal beliefs, this was part of her locker room etiquette.

locker room

For the most part, the etiquette inside the locker room is the same as on the outside.

  1. Don’t go into the trainer’s room. That is totally off-limits to the media.
  2. Don’t follow guys to the shower.
  3. When guys return from the shower to their locker, either (a) wait for them to acknowledge when it is okay to start asking questions or (b) wait until they have put their pants on.
  4. Don’t be “that guy” who never asks questions but instead only takes audio back to the station that came from the questions of others. You’ll gain respect from your peers if you actively participate.
  5. Always thank people for their time.

Sports talk hosts – here is another point about the locker room that is particularly relevant to you:

You will gain the respect of the players you cover if, after you have been critical of a guy, you make yourself available in the locker room.

Being critical then hiding inside the press box or radio or TV station is a fast way to lose respect.