Screaming The Big Plays? Here’s How to Fix It

When I was the play-by-play voice for the old Anaheim Piranhas of the Arena Football League, I had a conversation with my dad. He said, “Jon, I listened to your broadcast last night.”

I prepared myself for a bunch of compliments and superlatives.

Instead, Pop blindsided me.

He said, “You scream on your touchdown calls.”
Read More

7 ‘sugar in the sauce’ Baseball Broadcasting Tips

It once came up in conversation with my friend Tom Boman that I was in charge of making dinner for my family that night. He said, “Oh, what are you making?” I replied, “Probably spaghetti. It’s usually that or some variation of chicken and rice.” He then offered a tip. “Add a little bit of sugar in the sauce,” he suggested.

I hadn’t thought of that. I added the sugar and the sauce was wonderful.

Here are seven “sugar in the sauce” tips for baseball broadcasters — things you maybe haven’t thought of yet.
Read More

5 Details To Make Your Basketball Play-by-Play Great

When 10-time NCAA basketball champion John Wooden was head coach at UCLA, freshmen would arrive for the first day of practice eager with anticipation. They would gather around this great sage of basketball waiting to learn about how to be winners.

Wooden stunned them when the first thing he taught was how to put on their socks.

The reason was Coach Wooden believed if you didn’t put them on properly, the socks would get wrinkles, you would get blisters, you would be slowed or missed practice, which could impact your performance in the game, which could lead to the team losing.

The point is this: attention to detail leads to greatness.
Read More

How To Make The Jump To DI Play-by-Play

Years ago I applied for the play-by-play job at my alma mater, Kansas State University. I went to school there; I was a walk on in the basketball program there and my dad is an alumnus and had ties with some big boosters. I thought I had a good shot at the job.

Wrong.
Read More

Two Tips For Great TV Football Play-by-Play

Ray Scott and Pat Summerall are among the greatest TV football broadcasters of all-time.

They were masters at talking less.

That’s the first of three keys to great football play-by-play, and for broadcasting any sport on TV:
Read More

How To Master Your Voice As An Instrument

Vin Scully could have made as much money reading bedtime stories as doing play-by-play. If you’ve never heard the former Dodger great, go online and listen. Note how beautifully he used his voice as an instrument.

It’s the single most difficult aspect of sports broadcasting to master.

These three tips will help you master your voice as an instrument.
Read More

14 Must-Have Items For Your Play-by-Play Kit

In the old days, doctors made house calls. They brought with them a black kit filled with the essentials for the job — things like stethoscopes, syringes and bandages.

Play-by play broadcasters should also take a kit to work every day.

Here are 14 tools that should be in your play-by-play kit . . .
Read More

Three Tips For Fresh Broadcasts Through A Long Season

It’s the middle of your play-by-play season and you’re feeling the grind to find new things to say about your team and the players on it.

What do you do?

A baseball broadcaster told me, “I find myself struggling to mix things up on an everyday basis. I feel like I’ve already said everything there is to say about a player or team. There’s always talking to the players before each game, but it becomes a struggle to talk to every single player and memorize all that information for the broadcast.”
Read More