As a team where our nearest divisional opponent is eight hours away, there’s a lot of time on the bus, a lot of time in hotels and a lot of time being a roommate with someone else on the team. Some broadcasters may travel with the team, and some may just make the odd road trip. As a lot of us know, being on the road is the best, but toughest part of the job. It’s fun getting to visit different places, and there’s always bound to be bonding, but lots of long nights on the road can add up, and a seat on the bus generally isn’t call that comfortable.
Rule number one is, don’t snore. Okay, so that might be out of your hands, but there are a few key aspects that I think go into being a good roommate. Here’s five keys to being a solid roommate on the road:
- Know your roomie
Does he like music going while the two of you are working? Or does he prefer silence? In my personal experience, life on the road is hectic. There’s lots of work, and not much time for rest. My roommate on the road is generally the associate coach, and that generally involves a lot of late nights clipping video from games the night of, and looking ahead to the next night. Sometimes you may feel like the silence needs to be broken, but often just working quietly works in my case. With that being said, some may prefer some music, and in that case, it’s likely a case of picking out what music you want to listen to. As a country music fan, I know the genre is very hit or miss, so I try to stick with classics that are hard to go wrong with.
- Keep the bathroom decent
A lot of us are guys, and we all know that bathrooms can get a bit out of hand at times. Don’t strew your gear across the counter, and make sure you get your towels out of the way so your roommate doesn’t have to awkwardly move them the next time they go in. Also…if it can wait a few minutes, head down to the lobby, and do your business in the lobby bathroom. No need to make the washroom a quarantine zone for the remainder of the night.
- Manage your time
Between meals, morning practices, and games, there are plenty of timelines that can get mixed up. Generally whenever we get back from one event, I will make a small mention of the next time the team has to meet, and drop the time to make sure I know when we have to be moving. The next part could be tied into the first section, as having a rough schedule for the shower is always a good idea. With 15 minutes to go before you have to leave, you don’t want to both be needing to clean up. Plan things out as soon as you can, and if you know the roomie likes to take his time, try to get in first so you’re not rushing later on.
- Use the time to your advantage
Generally broadcasters are paired with a coach or trainer on the road, and either are great sources of information. Who is missing with injuries, or how things are going in the room. You don’t have to pry, but when conversations do come up, make sure you tuck some bits away for the broadcasts. With that being said, when I started broadcasting for the hockey team I’m with now, the other broadcaster in town told me one of the most important things in the job was knowing what you can, and can’t say. Sitting with the staff at meals you’re bound to pickup information, but if something should stay off the air, don’t say it. Always air on the side of caution as well, because it doesn’t take much to blow trust, and having the coaches hush up when you sit down isn’t ideal.
- Be a team
Don’t leave the roommate behind when you’re leaving, and make sure you know the plan through the day so if any questions pop up you know the schedule. Rooming with the assistant coach as well, that includes occasionally taking a projector screen down, and setting it up for the team to watch video on. Then packing it up, and hauling it back to the room or the bus. If you can have a good relationship with the person you’re rooming with, and help out when needed, then most of the time things will work out.
There you have it….five easy steps to being the ultimate team player on the road and ensuring that long bus trips and hotel stays are the best possible experience.