Why and How to Build a Good Personal Website

A sports broadcasting employer shared this story with me.

A guy arrived for a job interview wearing jeans and a polo shirt.

The outfit is a fine choice if you’re going to pick up a gallon of milk. It’s a terrible choice if you’re interviewing for a sportscasting job.

I share this story because we all have extra time on our hands until the games resume. One way to use it wisely is to build a personal website.
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6 Ways to Grow Your Sportscasting Career While Sidelined

When COVID-19 prompted the cancellation of sports, athletes didn’t stop training. They didn’t stop trying to improve themselves. You should take the same attitude with your sports broadcasting career.

Here are six ways to improve your career while sidelined.
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The Oprah Winfrey Habit That Will Improve Your Sportscasting

Two people I especially admire are Oprah Winfrey and former Philadelphia Eagle turned magician, Jon Dorenbos. I love the two because they both exude joy and gratitude.

Feeling gratitude is critical to feeling joy. Here’s why: it’s impossible to experience negative emotions like frustration, disappointment, or anger when you’re feeling gratitude.

Here are a few things you can do to feel grateful while waiting for the games – and your sportscasting career – to resume.
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Wise Ways to Invest Your Extra Time into Your Career

The San Diego Chargers had a player in the 1990s named Darren Carrington. His locker room nickname was Prison Body because he was so ripped and had washboard abs. He looked like he’d been in prison where he’d had nothing to do except work out.

He looked a lot like me.

Well, maybe not.

While I can’t promise you washboard abs, I can share ways for you to strengthen your career by wisely investing the extra time we all have on our hands right now.
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Inspiration to Fuel Sportscasting Career Success

When STAA hosted our annual One-Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success seminars, I would hear from attendees who would leave fired up and optimistic about their careers. They would hang on to that inspiration for several days, but their excitement and enthusiasm would eventually wane. That’s because – you’ve heard me say this time and again – motivation is like bathing: you have to seek it every day because it wears off.

Here are some ways to seek daily motivation and inspiration.
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Ways to Stay Sane While Waiting for the Games to Resume

My late twenties was a frustrating time in my sports broadcasting career. I wasn’t getting the opportunities I felt I deserved, and it started to affect me mentally.

One Friday night my dad and I went to a high school football game. I hadn’t shaved for a day or two, and I did not look great. Dad didn’t mention my unkempt appearance, and he even took me out to dinner after the game. (Looking back on it, I appreciate my dad’s patience during that time.)

I wish I would have known some coping mechanisms to get me through that season of frustration.
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The Journalism Master’s Myth

Sportscasters experiencing frustration in the job market may wonder if a master’s degree from a broadcast journalism school could get them closer to a network-level play-by-play opportunity.

There are two benefits of getting a master’s degree from a broadcast journalism school.
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How To Improve Your On-Camera Performance

My senior year at the Princeton of the Plains, Kansas State University, I took a storytelling class from a wonderful women named Charlotte McFarland. The purpose was to develop spontaneity and on camera performance.

The local cable TV station filmed our class doing our final storytelling performances of the semester. When I watched my segment air one week later, my first thought was, “You sure are a handsome guy Jon.” My second thought was, “Love the pink paisley shirt.” My third thought was, “Dude, you have no camera presence. You look nervous, you look scared, you look reserved and you’re mumbling.” So, I went about trying to fix those things.

I don’t know that I’ve improved much, but here are some top tips for improving your on camera performance.
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Sportscasting Career Advice: Always Arrive Early

When I was in my first job in McPherson, KS, I did football play-by-play for a small NAIA school, Bethany College. One October afternoon, the Swedes had a game up the road in Salina at Kansas Wesleyan. As was my habit, I arrived at the stadium two hours early. I liked taking my time to set-up my broadcast location, review my notes, record my pre-game coaches interview, then relax before going on the air. Today, though, was different.

When I plugged in my phone jack (yes – we broadcast using telephone land lines back in the day), I heard the last thing a broadcaster ever wants to hear in that situation.
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The Most Valuable Lesson I learned In My Sportscasting Career

One of the students in a sports broadcasting class I taught at Palomar College in San Diego was a kid named Jordan Carruth. Jordan stayed in touch after he graduated. He would call to ask how things were going and update me on his career. He would get me San Diego State basketball tickets through his job at a local radio station. He kept in contact.

Ten years after graduating, Jordan ended up coming to work for STAA.
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