Editors Note: This article was submitted to Sportscaster Life by John Vicari, a High School Senior and broadcaster looking to pursue a career in sportscasting. If you’re interested in submitting an article to Sportscaster Life, please click here.
I’m like many of you…a broadcaster first bit by the broadcasting bug at an early age. Though unless your elementary school or high school has a television or radio station (I am lucky to have a TV station) you may find yourself helpless in how to get your feet wet as a broadcaster. I am going to be a senior in high school and always looking for opportunities to improve my skills. These are pathways for young broadcasters like myself to do so.
Call games into a Phone
There is always a game you can call, mute the TV or sit in the last row in the stands and call a game into your phone. This is a great way to get extra practice calling real games without any pressure. If lets you test your prep, helps you broaden your vocabulary and much more. There are plenty of free quality voice recording apps out there, and the key is to make sure you save and can playback your recording for self-critiquing.
Read Sportscasting Books
There are many books are out there on how to be a sportscaster, and while some are better than others they are all great resources. Favourites in the sportscasting community include Call of the Game and The Art of Sportscasting. Reading websites about broadcasting are helpful as well (hint: this one!). In addition to Sportscaster Life, check out Say the Damn Score and STAA as great resources on sportscasting. Reading articles or books of any kind help in broadcasting.
Another learning tool for young broadcasters listen closely and take notes. Many sportscasting podcasts feature interviews with high school, college or pro level sportscasters and have great lessons about their careers. Learning from others is a key aspect in sportscasting and listening to someone who has had a great career, or who is building a great career can be very beneficial to your own. Sportscaster Life features several great podcasts in the Podcast Library.
Although this depends on where you live sportscasters and universities hold camps on all aspects of broadcasting and journalism. Google broadcasting camps and find one near you and join right away. Although there you have to spend money it will be worth it.
Reach out to professionals
Guys in the business are always willing to help and mentors are important for self-improvement. Contact broadcasters on social media, email and call them. Send tapes and ask questions. You will find that in many cases, professional and established broadcasters will be only too happy to lend an ear to your demo or offer some career advice for the simple reason that they received the same treatment when they were coming through the ranks. Build relationships and have an advantage in the world of broadcasting.
I am eager to get to college and get in the industry. However, while I’m in high school I will take every opportunity presented and try to make myself better every day. Sportscasting is a constant learning experience and it doesn’t matter whether you’re calling games in high school, college or the pros, there is always something to learn and a new skill to master.