A friend of mine was doing high school play-by-play in a small Midwest market. He couldn’t be choosy about his analyst so he ended up with somebody who had never done it. Several plays went by without the analyst saying anything. Finally, after the fifth play, the analyst piped up and said, “The red team plays good defense.”
What do you do if you’re working with an analyst who isn’t talking much?
The best thing to do is find a new analyst! In a small market with no budget, though, that might be easier said that done. Besides, having someone who talks little is sometimes better than having nobody at all.
If you must keep your tight-lipped analyst, here are five things you can do:
1. Set them up
Use questions to open the door for your analyst then encourage them to walk through it. What do you think they’re going to do here? Why was the offense successful on that play?
2. Provide opportunities to jump in
At the end of the play, maybe you reset down, distance and yard line then stop. After a made basket, give time and score then stop. Give your analyst opportunities to jump in. If they do, great. Otherwise, continue on.
If your analyst isn’t filling time between plays, describe the environment. It could be the fans in the stands, activity on the sidelines or something taking place on the field or the court. You can even recap the previous play in a greater detail.
Revisit story lines when the cat’s got your analyst’s tongue. Remind your audience of what’s at stake in this game if your team wins, what the consequence is if they lose and what the importance is of this possession.
5. Character Development
Share additional biographical information about players and coaches.
All of these are things you should be doing in your broadcast regardless of how talkative your analyst might be. A quiet partner provides more time to devote to the fundamentals.
Working with an analyst who says little doesn’t have to sabotage your broadcast. Being prepared will help you overcome those shortcomings.