Last week, I shared four things you can do this baseball season to increase your chances for moving up next year.
The fourth was the most obvious: improve your play-by-play.
Here are three habits you will hear when listening to the baseball broadcasting greats.
1. Great baseball broadcasters use more adjectives
Don’t just say a ball is grounded to third. Say that it’s grounded hard to third. Don’t just say the ball is hit out to the centerfielder. Rather, the centerfield drifts to his left, camps under it and makes the play.
Similarly, describe things in detail. If the batter is knocking dirt from his spikes, describe it. If a pitcher steps behind the mound to rub up the ball, describe it.
Using adjectives and more description when the ball is not in play will immediately improve your baseball call.
2. They pinpoint the ball on the field
This one is ignored with regularity but it makes a huge difference. The ball is not just fielded by the second baseman. He may field it ranging to his left, moving toward the second base bag, on the outfield grass or charging toward the infield grass.
Same thing with balls hit to the outfield. The right fielder may be moving into foul territory, ranging into the alley or retreating towards the warning track.
3. They tell us why this matters
This is how you turn your broadcast from a simple narrative into a story.
Every game has something at stake. Your team is trying to achieve something or trying to keep the opponent from achieving something. Even deeper than that, each pitch, each batter and each base runner has significance. Maybe the pitch is important because the pitcher wants to avoid a full count so the runner on first isn’t going to automatically be going. Maybe the runner is important because he represents the tying or go-ahead run.
Think about “why does this matter” – this game, this half inning, this at-bat this pitch, this base runner.
Try these things in your next broadcast. It might take awhile for them to become habit but simply making the effort will pay immediate dividends.