Quarantine. Social Distancing. Coronavirus. COVID-19. That’s all that’s flooding our feeds, our inboxes, and unfortunately our lives. There’s no doubt how big of an impact this pandemic has had on our lives and careers in the recent weeks. The most important thing we can do right now is perform our societal-duty of social distancing, but how about our careers? What can we be doing in our “down-time” to improve our skillset for when sports undoubtedly returns to our lives? Well, here’s a list of some things that I’m working on during the quarantine to spark your inspiration.
1. Start production elements for next season
If you work in a winter sport, now is the perfect time to look at the production value of your broadcast. Even if you’re a spring or summer sport broadcaster, with the sports world being on pause you’ve got some extra time allowing to bring in a little punch to your offerings. Do you have a broadcast opening billboard? Do you have commercial break liners? Do you do webcasts/TV which could add a new score bug or sponsors logos?
Now is the perfect time to take a dive into these types of elements. Head over to a website like fiverr.com where for a mere $5-10 you can find a voice-over artist to bring some electricity to the opening of your broadcast, or hire a graphic designer to create you a logo for your podcast or coach’s show.
It’s the little things that make a small-time production look and sound big-time, but unfortunately when crunched for time the little things are the first ones to get skipped. We’ve got the chance now to start looking into it!
2. Re-evaluate Last Season
We talk about self-evaluation a good deal here at sportscasterlife.com, and if you’re not one who does it regularly, the quarantine is the perfect time to start.
Go back and select audio from a few random games and listen/watch with the ears/eyes of your audience. Be critical, within reason, and look for some common errors that you make game-in and game-out. This will help you create a roadmap for what to work on with the upcoming season.
3. Begin Your Prep
Even if you’re months away from your next season, it’s honestly not too early to begin your prep for next year. When was the last time your pre-game prep methods got a real good look? Are you working as efficiently as possible?
For instance, did you know that you can get Excel to import stats for you, directly from the web? How about your game notes that you share with other broadcasters and media personnel, think a refresh in order? How about your scorebooks, running out of pages? Now is the time to look at these items and save yourself time later!
4. Get Your Professional House In Order
I don’t want to be the one to bring up the dark-side of our business, but unfortunately there have been a slew of lay-offs, furloughs, and firings. Now is a great time to check your resume, create a website if you don’t have one, pick new demos for your Soundcloud portfolio, and clean-up your social media presence. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
5. Learn a New Skillset or Improve a Current One
Is there a part of your career which might benefity from a little bolstering? Do you run your team’s/organization’s social media but don’t know much about Photoshop or the other programs in the Adobe Suite? Are you a little unsteady with the innerworkings of your team’s website and it’s WordPress hosting or HTML? Could you benefit from having better video production for highlights, standups, and player interviews? Check out sites like udemy.com where you can take easily digestable classes to improve whatever skillset you might be trying to build on.
Sportscasters need to look at this quarantine as literally “free”, as in no-cost, time. Use it to do the things you either ran out of time to do last off-season, or things you’ve always wanted to do but never pulled the trigger. How can you take your broadcast, your production, and your skillset to the next level?