How to avoid one of the toughest career decisions

Jamelle Holieway was the best option QB I ever watched. When he was running Oklahoma’s attack in the 1980s it was must-see TV. As I watched in awe, I wondered how Holieway chose on each play whether to keep the ball or pitch it. It turns out that he didn’t have to make the decision – the defense made it for him. If the end stays wide, keep it. If the end collapses, pitch it. Easy.

Avoid this tough career decision

For sportscasters, planning their career path can seem like running the option. The current glut of major college play-by-play openings is forcing some minor league baseball broadcasters to choose between that and Division I football and basketball.

How do you choose?
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This reaction from an employer will blow you away

How often have you applied for a sportscasting job and never heard a peep back from the employer – not even acknowledgement that they had received your application? It happened to me more times than I can remember.

employer reaction

I remember wondering if those employers were so far removed from their own job-seeking experience that they had forgotten what its like. To them, your job application means nothing. What they often forget is that, to you, it means everything. That is why what I am about to share with you is stunning.Read More

Doing this will stoke your sportscasting passion

Mark Cuban reads for one hour every day.

Cuban says that when he started out as a software salesman, he knew nothing about what he was selling. He learned by reading the instruction manuals. Then, when prospects had questions, he was able to answer them thoroughly and professionally.

reading to fuel your passion

Cuban outsold everyone and set himself on his way to riches.
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5 reasons why sportscasters who aren’t as good as you keep getting jobs

We all know someone who laments that people who are less talented than them keep getting great sportscasting jobs.

5 reasons why sportscasters who aren’t as good as you keep getting jobs

Measuring ourselves against others without bias is at the very least challenging. For this conversation, though, let’s assume that a person is repeatedly being passed over in favor of less talented, less qualified candidates.

Here are five reasons why a talented individual might be repeatedly passed over in the sportscasting job market:
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This is not a good reason to accept a sportscasting job offer

There are many good reasons to not accept a sportscasting job offer. You might easily overlook one of those reasons because the offer is so tempting.

employment offer

I wanted to be a sports broadcaster since high school. I was two years into my first job doing news and sports for a radio station in McPherson, KS, when a station up the road in Salina asked me to be their news director. Even though it didn’t include sports, I nearly accepted the position.
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What I know now

People magazine once profiled Kurt Russell. The story was titled, “What I Know Now.” (And just so you know, I don’t regularly read People. Uh…my wife left it lying around the house.)

What I know now about the sports broadcasting industry

Anyway, I immediately starting thinking of things I know now about the sports broadcasting industry that I didn’t know back in the day. Here are 12 of them.
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What is your conduct saying about you?

Is the way you are conducting yourself presenting the image that you want?

A friend of mine was recently telling me about his experience in minor league baseball. “I saw so many play-by-play broadcasters show up late, unprepared and in t-shirts and jeans,” he said. “You never know who is listening or watching you work. If you use the excuse that you’ll be more professional when you are in the Majors or in a big market you’ll never get there.”

be awesome now

Those comments couldn’t be more right on. Look at them again:
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There is danger in being too quick to look for your next job

An ambitious young sportscaster I know graduated from college and started a job at a small market radio station. The job has everything he could have asked for in a first gig – tons of play-by-play, sports updates every day and a full-time salary with benefits.

It’s the perfect situation for him to hone his craft for the next two or three years. That’s why I was stunned by the question he asked me after less than one month in the position.

don't focus on your next job

“Where do you think I should be looking for my next job?”
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How do you address death in your broadcast?

On Saturday, January 27th, 2001, an airplane carrying members of the Oklahoma State University basketball program crashed as it was returning to Stillwater following a game at Colorado. A friend of mine, Pat Noyes, was on the Cowboys coaching staff and he was on that plane. He and the other nine people on board died.

As you would imagine, it was the dominant news story that day, and not just in sports. It led all of the national newscasts. My ESPN Radio show was on that night. Hosting it was the hardest thing I ever had to do on the air. I met Pat when he was a student at McPherson College (KS). I was the Voice of the Bulldogs. We played pickup ball together in the Bulldogs gym. Holding it together while discussing the crash, and discussing a friend, in front of a national radio audience was tough. My voice cracked more than once. Even now, I’m getting chills as I pound out these words on my keyboard.

I bring this up because twice in the past month I have had sports broadcasters ask me a very unique yet relevant question.
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Is this also the reason you chose sports broadcasting?

Before he passed away, Kobe Bryant said that one thing he wanted to do after basketball was to produce documentaries about successful people. He said the first thing he would ask is why do you do what you do?


Upon hearing that, I stopped to ask myself why I chose sportscasting for a career. The answer I have always told people is that I wanted to get paid to go to games.
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