If you’ve watched top sideline reporters, you’ve probably noticed that they seem to always be just where they need to be when something big happens. Once there, they always corral exactly the player, coach, trainer, medic, even ref, who is at the center of the action. And though they only have time to ask a couple of questions in their 20-30 seconds on the air, they seem to ask just the questions you want answered.
How do they do it? Talent is part of it, and so is knowledge of the game. But they also have benefited from skills developed over years by reporters that came before.
We’re going to teach you those skills, including:
- Pre-game preparation and research in the days or weeks before the game.
- Ongoing relationship building with players, coaches, trainers, and other key personnel, so they are willing to talk to you, on the spot, in the heat of the action.
- Proper field positioning, so you can move quickly to wherever a major play or injury occurs.
- Monitoring bench activity, substitutions, and developing situations as well as continuously relaying these happenings to producers for a possible on-air report.
- Interviewing skills, because how you word your questions often leads to how newsworthy are your answers.
- Flexibility as an interviewer, to instantly change your line of questioning if the subject’s answers take you in a different direction.
- Recognizing body language as a clue to game participants’ emotions and bodily health.
- Avoiding opinions in your reporting. Your job is to tell what happened. Leave why it happened to the analysts in the booth.
- Conciseness. You usually have seconds for your report, so you need to know how to get to the point without wasting words.
- Relationship development with booth personnel and others on the broadcast team so the fans see you as a key part of the coverage of their favorite sport.
You Need Broadcasting Skills, Too
Reading the skills list above, you probably recognize some of the things top-notch sideline reporters do. With SMG, you’ll learn to do them too … from a professional sportscaster. Because who’s better to teach sportscasting than someone who’s done it.
We’ll also teach you the broadcasting skills you need, including:
- Proper vocal delivery.
- How to operate the equipment you’ll use.
- How to interact with the technical and administrative people you’ll work with in any pro broadcasting situation.
Without these skills, even if you land a broadcasting job, you won’t last long doing it.
How SMG Makes You a Sportscaster
How does the SMG program get you up to speed to apply for a professional sportscaster position? Here’s our play-by-play:
- You contact SMG and tell us you’d like to be a professional sportscaster in a sideline reporting situation. You also tell us four or five local radio stations that broadcast sports.
- We set you up with a professional sportscaster right at one of the stations. You two talk, and if both are happy with working together, the sportscaster becomes your mentor.
- You follow a carefully laid out training course put together by top sportscasters, including:
- Bruce Gilbert, head of Sports Operations at Clear Channel radio
- ESPN program directors Larry Gifford and Jeff Schwartz
- Play-by-play superstar Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton of XTRA Sports 1360
- Rob Buska of NBC Sports
- The course materials will ask you to put together your own sportscast, including play-by-play work.
- You and your mentor meet weekly right at the local station. No need to travel to some far-off, high priced, brick and mortar broadcasting school that teaches you to be a DJ or news guy when all you want to learn is sportscasting.
- Your mentor offers feedback and suggestions. Over time your work improves to meet professional standards.
- SMG and your mentor work to put you in a real play-by-play situation, in a local college, or similar, sports program. This will give you actual experience to take to potential employers.
- At the program’s conclusion, you get a diploma from SMG certifying you for professional sportscasting work. SMG and its sister company, Broadcasters Mentoring Group, are highly regarded in the broadcasting industry as a source of new on-air talent.
But you also get something more…
The Make or Break Value of Contacts
Because you’ve trained at an actual radio station, the professionals there have been able to watch your skills grow. And if you work hard, they become interested in seeing your career advance.
Almost everyone in broadcasting has a wide network of contacts in the industry, who report back when jobs open. This increases your chances to know about them before any outsider does, and when you apply, you’ll carry recommendations from your mentor and others. Contacts often mean the ball game in getting a job in broadcasting. In fact, industry data show that six of every 10 new broadcasting hires happen through contacts.
No wonder Crys Quimby, program director at WCBS-AM, flagship station of the New York Yankees, says, “The mentoring model SMG uses is an outstanding vehicle for someone trying to break into the business. It’s not just WHAT you know. It’s WHO you know.”
Best Program, Lowest Cost
But SMG has another winning edge, especially compared to traditional broadcasting schools that only offer sportscasting as a small part of their program. We’re up to 20 times less expensive compared to these schools, when they’re part of a college degree program, and less than half the cost even when they’re not. Plus, financing is available.
Get on the Sideline!
So here’s the drill: If you want to be a pro sportscaster, you’ve got to throw the first pitch. It’s easy to do and won’t cost a cent. Just read on in the SMG website, and especially the FAQ page, or, even easier, just fill in the Contact form below or call SMG at (818) 879-0858. We’ll put you in touch with one of our counselors for a free career consultation. There’s no obligation of any kind to learn more.
You’ve wanted it long enough. Time to get your game going. Contact SMG at no cost or obligation today!