In November 2016, Sportscaster Life wrote about questions to ask a coach before a game. It’s consistently one of the most searched for and asked about posts on the website. However the coaches pre-game show is only a fraction of a broadcast…what about your post-game show?
The coach interview is standard fodder for a post-game show. Most teams or colleges will supply ‘your’ coach for a one-on-one interview and particularly in situations where you’re embedded with a team it means you can develop quite a repore and chemistry…not unlike a colour analyst.
So what do you ask a coach in a post-game show? That obviously depends greatly on how the game went. Much like a pre-game show, you should never have your questions canned from game to game to game…however there are a few common threads that you can mix with events from the game to build a quality interview.
So what do you ask a coach in a post-game show?
The first thing I like to do is ask about the game, and let them phrase it in their words. This does two things. 1) It gives you an easy ‘in’ for the interview and gets the conversation flowing, and 2) it allows the coach to dictate the way they want the interview to go.
You can choose to lead them a certain direction, or you can leave it open ended, but my typical first question in a coach post-game show is:
How did you see it from your vantage point?
A rough start but a good character re-bound, what’d you see?
What did you think of (game event) and its impact on the game?
Talk us through that one. (this one is great for big wins or losses as it doesn’t commit you to an opinion on the game either way)
Again, these questions are very generic and you should ALWAYS base your post-game show interviews on events from that game, however letting your guest guide where you want to go can ease you into an interview.
After that I will try and narrow in on either one of their points, or one of my observations…and if I did my job correctly those observations will often be the same. This is where you hone on a moment in the game, a turning point if you will. Perhaps there was a big play that turned momentum. Maybe a player had a great individual effort. Maybe a timeout proved pivotal.
The goal of this question is to try and answer why. The first question tackles ‘what’ happened, now you’re looking at ‘why’:
How did (game event/individual performance) impact the game?
What did you think of (game event/individual performance)?
Who stepped up and led the way tonight?
Joe Smith was sensational, putting the team on his back. Your thoughts on his game?
You can continue to drill into the why for a few questions, depending on your time restrictions. This is also your opportunity to ask about controversial moments, talking points that your fans will want to hear an opinion on as they drive home from the game. It’s also an opportunity to get updates on any players who may have left during the game with injury.
These middle questions should be the questions you would have if you’re sitting at home or in your car…what are the most important factors into ‘why’ the result was what it was.
After explaining the what and why, the next thing in your post-game show should be what’s next. Depending on your schedule, you may want to talk to the coach about upcoming games or events. Does your team play the next night? Do they have a long layoff?
How do you use the time between games to get the team ready?
It’s a quick turnaround between games, what’s the priority for the team?
You have a long layoff, how do you keep the intensity up?
How will the team deal with a long road trip coming up?
Each and every interview should be just like your broadcast…unique and well researched. Your post-game show interview with a coach is no different however there are a few points and formats you should keep in mind.
Your post-game caters to hardcore fans of your team or school. Few casual fans will stick with you beyond the final buzzer, so provide content for your passionate fanbase…the ones at every game, every event, every meeting. Ask the questions they want answers to.
When it comes to big wins, don’t get carried away. Ask the why, let the facts speak for themselves and enjoy the moment professionally. With big or heartbreaking losses, be respectful and let the coach direct you as to where he or she is willing to go…while you want to ask the tough questions, you don’t want to shut down a valuable source of information just because you wanted to convey how bad the team was on a particular night.