This Big 10 coach’s strategies will help you be a better broadcaster

One of my all-time favorite ESPN series was Being PJ Fleck. It was filmed in the months immediately after the always upbeat Fleck was named football coach at the University of Minnesota.

Here are 8 Fleck-isms that will help you improve your sports broadcasting career.

1. Own your happiness

Happiness is a choice. You can fret and be grumpy that your career isn’t yet where you want it to be, or you can choose to appreciate the job you have and what you have accomplished.

I wish this were my mindset when I worked at the old XTRA Sports 690 in San Diego. Instead of being grateful that I had an on-air job at a major market all-sports station that hundreds of people would love to have had, I moped that I didn’t have a daily show. My negativity kept me from being my best.

What a PITA I must have been to work with.

2. Find new ways to do things

Old ways aren’t always the best ways. The speed at which technology advances makes it easier than ever to reinvent the wheel. Find ways to increase the performance, efficiency and time management of yourself and your station.

Doing so will make you stand out.

3. Always be improving

Always be striving to get better. Seek critiques. Self-critique. Read blogs. Listen to podcasts. Study other sportscasters. If you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse.

4. Change your best

This is the result of relentlessly seeking improvement. Apply it to the non-sportscasting areas of your life, too. Change your best when it comes to the speed at which you reply to correspondence, the gratitude you share with sports information directors who help you prep your broadcast, and your reputation among co-workers for being easy to work with.

5. Serve and give

Be doing something for somebody else all the time. It is a great way to build lasting relationships within sports broadcasting. Don’t ask others what they can do for you. Instead, do things for them.

One of the easiest and most valuable things you can do for another sportscaster is to connect them with someone who can be helpful to them.

You’ll get what you want if you help enough other people get what they want.

6. Smiling is my favorite

Smiling makes co-workers eager to be around you and makes you feel better. It’s hard to feel negative when you have an ear-to-ear grin on your face.

7. Don’t allow yourself a threshold where you’ll quit

Most people have a point where they’ll say, “enough is enough.” They’ll stop cold-contacting employers after repeated rejection. They’ll stop seeking improvement when it hasn’t led them to a better job. They’ll stop working their hardest when they feel unappreciated by their employer.

I’ve been guilty of the latter. Not only did I keep myself from being my best, I kept my co-workers from being their best because I was the weak link in the chain. How selfish I was.

8. Row the boat

PJ’s most well-known mantra. When adversity hits, put your oar back in the water and keep rowing. Persevere. Again, don’t allow yourself a threshold where you’ll quit.

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