The best coaches and trainers know that how an athlete spends their off season is vital to preparing for a successful next season. If you use the time off to binge Netflix and eat donuts, you’re going to have problems when preseason begins.
As a broadcaster, how you spend the slowest part of your year will either motivate you to achieve bigger goals or perpetuate a cycle of stagnation.
Update your demo material
If you made notes during the season when you had a particularly good broadcast, selecting your new demo material will be quick and easy. Remember that your best demo material should be your most recent.
Update your resume
Since you’re updating your demo, take a quick look at your resume to make sure everything is ship shape. I’m always surprised at the number of sportscasters who have overlooked their resumes for so long they’re missing one or more of their most recent jobs.
This is step is extra important if your resume is online (it is online somewhere, right?). You don’t want your online resume saying you haven’t worked in a year and a half when in reality you have been busting your tail feathers.
Review your season
Spend a little time reflecting on the past season. Note some of the high and low points – maybe your team made it to the playoffs or you endured a couple of extra grueling road trips (hey, at least you made it out alive!).
If you struggle with confidence in your broadcasting ability, physically writing out a few things that you did well on the air will help. (Hint: if you can’t find anything that you did at least moderately well, you’re either being too harsh in your self-critique or you need to rebuild your PBP fundamentals).
Plan for progress
Use your seasonal review to create some forward career momentum. For example: if last season’s low points far outweighed the highs, figure out why and then decide what changes you need to make to correct course. Write down two or three points that you want focus on improving next season. Don’t forget about off-air development here (do you need to work on your media relations skills? Relationship building? Graphic design?).
Do something not sports related
Vin Scully can tell a story about anything and make it entertaining and relatable. A major part of the reason he can do that is because he has interests and hobbies that extend beyond sports. He’s an interesting person. Expand your general knowledge by doing things that are outside your comfort zone and typical interests. Visit an art museum. Go sky diving. Develop your curiosity about the world at large and you’ll become an interesting person. Interesting people make better broadcasters.
Bottom line: the off season is an opportunity. Recharge, then get to work rebooting the parts of your sportscasting career that are no longer working.