I will be broadcasting lacrosse for the first time next week. I’ve never broadcasted lacrosse before. Any advice?
I got the nod for some Division I field hockey play-by-play and I’m coming up on my first game soon. Any advice?
These are the kinds of questions I receive often from play-by-play broadcasters who are getting ready to call a particular sport for the first time. It is wise say yes to the work because it might open new doors, but if you’ve never broadcast the sport before, how to you go about sounding your best?
Here are seven tips for broadcasting a new sport:
1. Study others
Compile a list of questions you have about how to call the sport. Then listen or watch somebody else do it and answer your questions as you review their broadcast.
2. Seek advice
For the questions that remain unanswered, pose them to someone who broadcasts that sport. It doesn’t have to be someone you know. Seeking advice, if done politely and respectfully, is a great way to meet new people.
3. Know the rosters
Immediate identification of players will help to hide your inexperience.
4. Study the terminology
Don’t try to learn everything, just learn the basics. Google is your best resource here. Search phrases like “basic lacrosse terms” or “lacrosse terminology for beginners.” You’ll find all that you need.
5. Know the rules
Again, Google will help you a ton. The answer to most everything in life is on the Internet!
6. Use the STAA PBP Pyramid
Use the STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid to guide you. The pyramid features the fundamentals of great play-by-play and they are the same for each sport.
7. Be prepared
The degree of nervousness you feel when you go on the air will be in direct inverse proportion to how thoroughly you have addressed the six tips above. The better prepared you are, the less nervous you will be. Like John Wooden used to say, “failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”
For more solid, basic tips for preparation, I suggest this post.
Your best advice?
What is your best advice for someone calling a new sport for the first time? What have I omitted from my list of suggestions that should be here? I would love to hear your advice.
More importantly, our STAA community would love to benefit from your expertise. You will be a big help to all of us if you will please add your suggestions below.