Anyone who’s known me long enough knows that since high school, some 13 years ago, I’ve always had a small notebook tucked in my back pocket. It’s something I have on me every day and it wasn’t until very recently that I realized how important that pocket notebook is to my career.
Since it became second nature for me to pick up my notebook along with my keys, wallet, and cellphone in the morning, I’ve probably run through somewhere between 50 and 60 notebooks. I use them for every-day items like taking down phone messages to writing to-do lists and grocery lists. As I was looking back through my most recent notebook, it became clear to me that most of my content revolves around sportscasting it hit me how important these little books of paper have been to my career. I’m not one of those people who can block off a specific timeframe, sit down, and pound out the information I need for an upcoming show. It’s just not how I’m wired. Instead, I have to be reactionary and write everything down the moment it comes into my head, otherwise I’ll likely never have that quality thought again. Here are some of the different ways I use my pocket notebook to be the best broadcaster I can be.
Scripting and Copy
Perhaps the most prominent use I have for my notebook when it comes to sportscasting is scripting and copy for my intros. While any good sportscaster can go off the cuff, I try to script my broadcast opens as much as I can so that the flow of my broadcast starts off on the right foot. My pocket notebook serves as the collecting place for these thoughts and a great first draft to my broadcast opens. Later, I’ll transfer the info into computerized type and read off my laptop to begin the night, but sometimes when we arrive late to the venue or things pop-up, it’s nice to know that I have the original in my notebook in an emergency situation. Plus, it’s easier to jot down a note on a small notebook when the bus rumbles down the road than have to lug out my laptop and punch the keys while cramped.
In-Game Notes and Stats
During the course of a game, I’ll write down the game action and stats in my Sportscaster Life scorebook but sometimes I’ll need to scribble down a detail or thought that comes to mind. Things like the time of a big hit or save that I want to recall when I cut highlights, names of the referees, or an emotional moment that I’ll want to recall later. It’s nice being able to look back at those notes and chronicles when I need them, whether that in a few hours after the game as I write the official recap story or in a few weeks when the same opponents return for a rematch.
Pre-Game Interview Notes
For my pre-game interviews which I record on a hand-held recorder, something as small as my pocket notebook is the perfect accessory. I pre-game interviews. I can keep it in my hand while I talk and read off it as needed without feeling clunky.
Sportscaster Life Ideas and Stories
I’m always trying to think of content for Sportscasterlife.com and other articles I find around the internet that I think might help or inspire others. My pocket notebook is the perfect place to write down story ideas, links to articles, and even draft up the articles themselves. Can you guess where this article was born?
There are so many other broadcasting uses that my pocket notebook serves. To-do lists, meeting notes, client phone numbers, and sketches just to name a few. The idea that all my information is stored in one place, everything from half-complete thoughts to stats and important details, is comforting to me. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that having a pocket notebook and using it daily has made me a better broadcaster.