Remember as a child when you sat around the television with your family watching pro sports? At some point you probably heard Vin Scully’s “play ball” voice or saw the late-great Craig Sager report in his fashionable suits.
You would always say one day that will be me – I will be that voice, that face, that storyteller.
Fast-forward to this moment and that dream is still alive within you, the dream of becoming the greatest sports broadcaster alive. But before you reach greatness, you need to set step-by-step goals on how to get there.
The more specific your goals, the more likely you are to reach them. Instead of saying, “I want to be a sports broadcaster,” say “I want to work at ESPN broadcasting Monday Night Football.”
After identifying your overall objective, you need to break down the process of achieving it into smaller, manageable goals. Each of these goals will clearly define the tasks that must be complete before the next goal can be achieved. These goals should be measurable (defining the physical manifestations) and realistic. Goals should be relevant to your objective and every goal should have a timeline for accomplishment.
To make goals more attainable, they should be written down. In an academic study, 42 percent of people were more likely to achieve their goals by writing them down on a regular basis.
Here are five smaller goals to help you reach your dream sports broadcasting job:
Most college radio and news stations have sports segments you can be involved with, but don’t limit yourself. By having experience with multiple types of stories, this will display that you are flexible and can make connections with a variety of people.
Extracurricular activities will also show employers that you have a valuable work ethic and impressive time management skills.
Internships are very competitive, but your work in extracurricular activities can help set you apart. Put your application in for a variety of networks, but don’t be disappointed if you only get acceptances in the smaller outlets. Those smaller affiliates can be great places to do internships, because they often give you more responsibilities than a bigger network.
Also check local sports teams and see if an in-house announcer will take on an intern. Successful sports internships can lead to job offers as well as grow your connections in the sports industry.
You will want to include some highlights of big plays or goals, unedited play-by-play, and an interview segment.
A sportscaster needs to be a storyteller that transmits emotion in tense situations and carries a game when the action isn’t exhilarating. The demo is meant to highlight your work, so make sure you are using footage where you shot the interview and edited the package yourself.
You made good connections through your college activities and internships, but you need to stay up-to-date with them.
Find individuals on LinkedIn and stay connected as well as build your presence with other like-minded individuals. You never know when a former classmate or acquaintance will be looking for new talent.
The sports field is relatively small with people having connections to others across different teams and leagues. These connections lead to recommendations and various opportunities which is why you should keep your resume and tape current.
You will want to be ready to explore new possibilities and work towards your career lifetime goal.
A promotion might come up at work and you will want to get your paperwork in a timely manner to show enthusiasm for the new position. Keeping your information updated doesn’t have to take a lot of time, just take 30 minutes each month to polish everything up.
Attend sport industry conferences and make new contacts already established in the field.
You should introduce yourself and ask people about their career and achievements. Make sure to genuinely listen, because you never know what kind of useful information you might learn. Exchange business cards in order to connect with them again. Networking in sports doesn’t stop once you break into the industry.
Goal-setting can help you visualize what you want in the future and keep you motivated to achieve those dreams. It is wise to regularly review your goals, because as you change over time and work more in your field, your goals might change to reflect a new passion.
Just because something is written down, doesn’t mean you can’t fix it to your new ambitions.
Remember to take the time to enjoy reaching your goals and becoming the sports broadcaster you always dreamed of. Good luck!