Before every single broadcast, we put together hours of prep, research dozens of players, and comb through previous games looking for the diamonds in the rough. All of that work is done so we can achieve the perfect call. One thing I’ve learned over the years, there’s no such thing.
When I was first starting out, I put too much pressure on myself to have a perfect call. Like a perfect game for a baseball pitcher, I imagined a flawless broadcast with no slips of the tongue, no stutters, no mistakes, and seamless flow. Each night I would sit with my prep work, get my mind focused, and ready to take the air determined to make that night’s call the “one”. Sometimes I’d lose the chance at perfection during my open, sometimes I’d go 99% of the game dialed in and find myself making a flub in the final minutes of the game.
After several years of that same approach, I realized that the pressure I put on myself was unnecessary. That there truly is no such thing as a perfect broadcast. That’s when my mindset shifted and it’s been the best thing for my career.
With the idea of a perfect call completely ignored, I afforded myself to the opportunity to focus on growth rather than perfection. Going back to that baseball analogy, instead of worrying about not allowing a baserunner all game, I worked on improving select “pitches” and “working out of a jam”. Instead of seeking an idyliic broadcast, I focused on improving chunks of my call like varying my words, painting a better picture for the listeners, improving my live-reads, and many other practices we talk about here on sportscasterlife.com.
I’ll be honest though, it wasn’t easy for me to accept it. I’m stubborn, and I fought back consistently telling myself “No, I can do it. I can have a perfect broadcast.” I was fighting an invisible war, and when I realized that was counter productive, I grew.
So the next time you take the air putting too much pressure on yourself, or hunting for perfection, just remember it’s not about being perfect or being without fault, it’s about growing and improving. What’s that old phrase? “If you’re not growing, you’re dying”? You’re the best broadcaster you can be when you’re focused and zoned in, by definition aiming for perfection is the very roadblock causing your struggles.