How To Get Started In Sports Broadcasting

“Where do I start?”

That is the question I get most often from aspiring sportscasters, especially those in high school or college. I spent hours answering that question each week while teaching at Marist College and the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. These days I get emails and tweets asking me how to begin a sportscasting career.

Truth is, there are many ways to get a start in broadcasting. First, understand that this is a tough industry, filled with excitement and pitfalls. I’ve always given students the unvarnished truth.

This is not a complete list of how-to’s for beginning a career, but merely a quick group of bullet points. We could devote hours to each one. Hopefully these act as a quick jumping-off point to get you headed in the right way.

1. Practice – Commit to daily improvement. Broadcast games. Increase your knowledge. Become a better broadcaster every day.

2. Do It For Free – Often you must work for free to gain experience and prove your value in the media marketplace. Use these opportunities to the fullest, as they will provide your launching pad to greater, paying opportunities!

3. Find a mentor, or ten – Most established sportscasting professionals are willing to help. Use them! Ask questions!

4. Leverage your contacts – Whether from your college, high school or community, make the most of your contact network. Let them know who you are and what your goals are.

5. Read – Perhaps the most important step of all. Read everything, to sharpen your philosophies, likes and dislikes. Read the history of what you want to be involved in. Know the games, traditions and rules.

6. Use technology as one tool in your bag – The internet is great, but not everything. I can post wonderful information on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., but eventually it comes down to being a real person.

7. Remain hungry – Sportscasting will challenge your will. Decide what your goals are and constantly strive to reach them. Your achievements will trend toward your goals over time.

I got started in this business in 1993 by selling programs at the ballpark and becoming friendly with team’s radiocaster. I also did bleary-eyed 5:00 am newscasts every day before college classes, for free.

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