5 Tips To Take Your Play-by-Play From Good To Great

Play-by-play broadcasters all have access to information about fundamentals – time and score, ball location, etc. What sets apart great broadcasters is discovering and implementing advice that isn’t available to the masses. A great way to do that is to ask industry pros to critique your work.

Many sportscasters have shared with me critiques they have received from some of the top play-by-play broadcasters in the industry. Today, I want to share them with you.

Here are 5 tips to take your play-by-play from good to great:
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Football Play-by-Play: Tips When You Can’t See Jersey Numbers

Years ago, I broadcast a high school football game in the worst conditions imaginable for a broadcaster.

Dense, impossible to see through fog.

At kickoff, the fog was hanging threateningly low over the field. By the second half, I couldn’t see fans sitting five rows in front of the press box, much less the field or even the sidelines.
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Football Play-by-Play Without an Analyst: Tips to Sound Great

The first time I broadcast football play-by-play without an analyst was 1989, McPherson (KS) High School versus Ark City. For a reason I don’t remember, my regular analyst was unavailable that night. What I do remember is what I felt.

Sheer. Terror.

At that point, my football broadcast experience was limited to a handful of games. Carrying a two-hour broadcast by myself seemed impossible. I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. As it turns out, the things I learned that night carried me though the rest of my football play-by-play career.
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Play-by-Play Analyst: Make Yours Sound Great

play-by-play-analyst

Broadcasting consistently with the same play-by-play analyst helps your games sound great. You can anticipate when your analyst is going to speak and he knows when you need to have the mike back.

Unfortunately, working consistently with the same play-by-play analyst is more the exception than the rule, especially in the early stages of a broadcasting career.

Here are four tips to instantly help your play-by-play analyst sound great.
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Memorizing play-by-play rosters: 7 top tricks

Memorizing play-by-play rosters can be hard. Most of us aren’t Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

For those of us who can’t remember what we ate for breakfast this morning, here are seveal techniques you can try for memorizing play-by-play rosters. There were initially seven but we’ve updated the post to add more:
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Ronald Reagan Excelled At Calling Baseball Solo, You Can Too

Do you know what’s scary? Calling a girl for the first time to ask for a date. Do you know what else is scary? Calling three hours of baseball by yourself.

When our former president Ronald Reagan was a sportscaster in Iowa, he called baseball by himself, and he wasn’t even at the ball park. The news ticker would tell him what each batter did, but it wouldn’t give details of the at-bats. Reagan had to fill in those details using his imagination.

If Ronald Reagan could excel at calling baseball solo, you can too.
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Why Eliminating “ing” Will Immediately Improve Your Play-by-Play

If you’re listening to play-by-play, what sounds better? “Jones passing; Smith running,” or “Jones passes; Smith runs”?

For me and for most listeners of play-by-play, “passes” and “runs” is preferable.

I never knew why until a sportscaster, who was working on his master’s degree, studied it and explained it to me.
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How Kobe Bryant’s Legacy Should Influence Your Sportscasting

When Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA, he was asked about his post-career plans. He replied that he wanted to write books and make documentaries.

He said he wanted to inspire through stories.

Everybody loves stories. It begins in childhood with bedtime stories, and we never really outgrow them.

There are ways you can use stories to distinguish your sportscasting.
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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.”
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