Sports broadcasting: how to succeed and the big misconception

A student recently asked me questions for a paper he is writing for his Master’s class.

My replies are below, but how would you answer the questions? Please share your thoughts on one, two or all of the questions in the comments section below.

What do you think is the biggest misconception in the sports broadcasting field?

The biggest misconception is that sports broadcasters just “wing it.” The best sportscasters prepare at least two hours for every one they are on the air.

Great sportscasting sounds spontaneous but is the result of many hours of preparation.

What’s the best way someone can prepare for a career in sportscasting?

Build relationships. Have people who can critique your work, provide guidance and help open doors.

Success is more about whom you know than what you know.

What are the top 3 skills needed to be successful in sportscasting?

Work ethic, people skills and writing skills.

You must be willing to put forth a degree of effort that others are not. You must get along with people so you can build the relationships necessary for a successful career. And you must be a great writer. Sports broadcasting is a communications industry. People who cannot link a noun and a verb won’t go far.

Again, please share how you might answer some or all of these questions in the comments section below. I’m eager to know what you recommend.

2 Comments

  1. Andrew Smith

    Building relationships is key. Our world is small, and you never know when you might need a favor from someone (or who might be able to put in a good word for you, or hire you someday). Treat others as you’d want to be treated.

  2. Rick Cole

    The ability to listen is the top skill…listening to coaches in order to prepare, listening to yourself to improve, listening to your broadcast partner in the booth…I could go on and on. Listening leads to good relationships, allows you to see many perspectives in preparation, and keeps you humble. Top misconception? Sports broadcasters are all about talking…

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