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What is the hardest thing you have to do to become a American sports television personality?


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Chris’s Answer

Being a former sportswriter, you need to be prepared to do a lot and put in a lot of time for very little money. You need to build a portfolio of work (being on camera); have an understanding of topics that range from rugby to lawn darts to bowling and football; have a personality that people want to be around; and, know that you will move many times in your career. There are a limited number of TV opportunities and even fewer that are sports related. You will need an internship or two in a small market and then likely work in small markets (places like Fargo, N.D.) to get experience for several years before you can even think of larger markets. But, if you work hard and are willing to put in the time, then you have a chance of working your way up.

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Kathleen’s Answer

The hardest thing is being selected/featured by the TV/Cable network or newspaper to serve in that role — but the same exact question could be asked about what it takes to become a sports star.

Think about it. Both professions involve years of hard work and time-tested experience. You cannot simply snap your fingers and suddenly be a famous sports figure or a famous sports commentator/reporter.

Hard work - Studying - Striving to continually do and be your best. This is true whether it’s running bleachers and dissecting game footage — or gaining the knowledge and experience to become a sports journalist.

Success isn’t a given. Preparation — to be the best at whatever you do & and then continually working hard to keep those skills top-level, relevant and sought-after — all of this is key.

Athletes continually study — just like the journalists covering them.

The other thing I would add is this: if you love what you do, it will never feel like “work.” But you must continue exercising your skills and growing them.

it may seem like “luck” that someone gets to play in the Super Bowl, the World Series or the Olympics - likewise, someone that is the local sportscaster or nationally syndicated sports journalist or featured writer for Sports Illustrated — but I guarantee you that it all starts with hard work and the aspiration to be the best you can be — no matter what you want to do.




Kathleen recommends the following next steps:

Do more research on the backgrounds of people who have the career you’d be interested in doing.
Write them a letter! I can’t hurt — and you just might hear from them! I think most people are generally favorable toward providing helpful advice to others.
Do well in school now!! Everything counts — to be a good sports journalist you need math to figure out statistics. Spelling and grammar are also key even as an adult in the field. You won’t get far if you cannot spell an athlete’s name correctly, etc., know your facts or rules of the game. Most, if not all, sports journalists are students of the sports or athletes themselves. Just like news correspondents— you need to know what you’re talking about.
Reach out to a local sports reporter or ask your school counselor to arrange a visit by one to your school.
Get involved in your school newspaper — in high school, in college - even a campus radio station. I have several friends who did this and are working in sports journalism today

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Melanie’s Answer

There is considerable competition for such positions in the broadcast industry, so much so that most Universities graduate enough individuals each semester, to staff all of the Nation's TV stations. There are more than 400 colleges and Universities across the country. Think about that. so in my opinion you need to be prepared beyond your competition. That does that look like?

I agree with others who say that your knowledge of the sports industry is paramount. So too is the ability to communicate well, and present a polished image. Perhaps nother question you might consider is why do I want to be a sports personality? If you are interested in providing viewers/readers with fresh insight and unique perspectives that engage them in the subject matter and make them want to watch, you'll fare far better than simply aiming for fame. My advice, having spent 15 years on the air:

- Take as many journalism courses as you can to prepare. Understanding how to tell factually accurate and interesting stories is job #1. Your opinion does not belong in Sports Reporting . Those who offer theirs have spent decades building credibility and you will likely need to do the same.
- Hone your writing skills, and learn to write conversationally...the way you would speak. You'll need to make your points and deliver the facts in less than a minute for any given story so start practicing now.
- Take as many communications courses as you can, to fully understand how you can be most effective. Understand non-verbal cues, micro-expressions and most of all how you sound and relate through the lens of a camera. Find a mentor/coach and tape yourself and let them watch you on camera. In fact find a couple and ask them for feedback.

And that last point is key for people on camera. Feedback. You'll get lots of it, so it's also important to learn to accept constructive input and let the negativity roll off your back. Good Luck

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Melanie’s Answer

There is considerable competition for such positions in the broadcast industry, so much so that most Universities graduate enough communications students each semester, to staff all of the Nation's TV stations. There are more than 400 colleges and Universities across the country. Think about that. So in my opinion you need to be prepared beyond your competition. What does that look like?

I agree with others who say that your knowledge of the topic is paramount. So too is the ability to communicate well, and present a polished image. Perhaps another question you might consider is why do I want to be a sports personality? If you are interested in providing viewers/readers with fresh insight and unique perspectives that engage them in the subject matter and make them want to watch, you'll fare far better than simply aiming for fame.

- Take as many journalism courses as you can to prepare. Understanding how to tell factually accurate and interesting stories is job #1. Your opinion does not belong in Sports Reporting . Those who offer theirs have spent decades building credibility and you will likely need to do the same.
- Hone your writing skills, and learn to write conversationally...the way you would speak. You'll need to make your points and deliver the facts in less than a minute for any given story so start practicing now.
- Take as many communications courses as you can, to fully understand how you can be most effective. Understand non-verbal cues, micro-expressions and most of all how you sound and relate through the lens of a camera. Find a mentor/coach and tape yourself and let them watch you on camera. In fact find a couple and ask them for feedback.

And that last point is key for people on camera. Feedback. You'll get lots of it, so it's also important to learn to accept constructive input and let the negativity roll off your back. Good Luck!

0
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Chris’s Answer

Being a former sportswriter, you need to be prepared to do a lot and put in a lot of time for very little money. You need to build a portfolio of work (being on camera); have an understanding of topics that range from rugby to lawn darts to bowling and football; have a personality that people want to be around; and, know that you will move many times in your career. There are a limited number of TV opportunities and even fewer that are sports related. You will need an internship or two in a small market and then likely work in small markets (places like Fargo, N.D.) to get experience for several years before you can even think of larger markets. But, if you work hard and are willing to put in the time, then you have a chance of working your way up.

0
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Steve’s Answer

I'd say that building your credibility on the subject would be the most difficult. It's one thing for your friends to admire your sports knowledge, but a completely different thing for strangers to want your opinion.

Tactically, speaking well and processing the information coming in through your headset will also be challenging.

Steve recommends the following next steps:

Drive conversations on social media about sports analysis
Work on public speaking

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