Recently, I heard from a young guy who is doing high school and small college play-by-play. He aspires to one day be the voice of a pro team, but he’s concerned with the amount of job market competition.
“I am really dedicated to becoming a pro broadcaster, but it’s a bit intimidating to hear how many people are applying to jobs nowadays,” he shared with me. “I get a bit anxious.”
Totally understandable and not at all uncommon. Keep in mind, though, that you control your future. Despite your concern, keep taking steps towards your goals. Productivity decreases anxiety.
The top 15% of applicants for any job are all similarly skilled. Think about getting yourself into that 15% before you worry about being No. 1.
Four things you can do to beat your competition:
1. Practice self critique
It is the fastest way to improve. You can use the STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid as a guide to get started.
2. Seek critiques from others
Other industry pros will make suggestions about things that you might not have considered.
3. Build relationships
Advancing a sportscasting career is as much about who you know as what you know. Introduce yourself to people, find ways to help them and then stay in touch.
4. Control the job market variables
There are five variables in the sports broadcasting job market that are within your control — demo, résumé, cover letter, presentation and follow-up. Study what you’re doing and find ways to be better. No detail is too small to be addressed.
Talent alone won’t advance your career. There are many talented sports broadcasters. Moving up in the industry is about consistently doing things that your competition isn’t willing to do. Do them, and you’ll start to separate yourself.