Have you ever offered a comment on a game, and then moments later the color analyst is saying the same thing?
Have you ever turned the sound down on a sports broadcast and tried to describe what you are seeing? Or maybe you just want to develop your communication skills? If you said yes to any of those, you should consider a career as a sportscaster.
But what is a sportscaster? Is it a public address announcer? How about a color analyst? A sports reporter? An anchor? Or a sports talk show host? The answer is yes - all of the above - and then some. The modern day sportscaster has to wear many hats and have many skills, and not just with his or her voice. He or she should be able to shoot video, edit and write. This “one man band” approach is the future of gathering information in sports or news.
The best place to jumpstart your career as a sportscaster is with your local high school or local access channel. Many of the industries best sportscasters started there and then continue onto bigger and better opportunities. And there’s a reason for it! Becoming a sportscaster with your local high school or access channel will prepare you best for all the skills required to be successful in the industry, specifically your communication skills. You will have an opportunity to improve your interview techniques, voice over highlights, and your ability to develop chemistry with your color analyst. You will also learn how to use the proper inflection, which is the volume or pitch of your words. You will use words that everyone can understand to describe the picture of what you are seeing. You will mix up your intonation, or rhythm and pattern of your delivery. This will guarantee that your audience doesn’t tune out. You will also discover how you sound on a recording. No one likes the way they sound or look the first time you are recorded, but knowing that will motivate you to improve on your clarity or enunciation of your broadcast. Your ability to pronounce challenging names will also build your credibility with your audience.
Master the skills of inflection, pronunciation, intonation and enunciation and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful sportscaster, and more importantly, a better communicator.
Jimmy Young has spent 35 years in commercial television in the New England Area, winning an Emmy award as the host and co-founder of the nation’s first live sports talk show for kids. He contributes to High School Cube's Innovators Network - a place for students, teachers and industry professionals to share their media related ideas, techniques, projects and more.