Many look at the sportscaster’s life as incredibly easy. You go to big games, you talk to pro athletes – what could be better? But to be a really top-flight sportscaster, you need to know a few things.
A good sportscaster knows sports the same way that a good foreign correspondent knows geopolitics – or the same way that a good business analyst knows economics. They study the games, they memorize statistics, and they know the back-office guys just as well as the all-stars. Whether you’re covering a single sport or the Olympics, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of the sports world and to study all the small facts.
A Standout Voice
Within a few moments of hearing a certain sportscaster’s voice, you know exactly who it is – even if the camera isn’t showing them and even if there’s no captions to tell you who’s talking. Dick Vitale, Marv Albert – their voices are iconic. But it’s not just because they sound good in the booth. It’s also about bringing personality into the lives of sports fans. Vin Scully could make a three-hour Dodgers baseball game pass right by with anecdotes, observations on the players, and even bits of obscure trivia right alongside the action in the game. He also did this kind of work solo for more 65 years, which is a rarity in broadcasting these days.
Love Of The Game
There’s a big difference between knowing a sport and loving it. You might be able to cite interesting stats and meaningful metrics with a breezy demeanor, but if all that knowledge is put to use complaining about the state of the game and how it’s gone downhill, you’re looking at a very short career. Pro athletes may be heroes to us for all the incredible things they do on the field, but pro sportscasters are the fans’ fan. They embody all the love of the home team and all the joy found in the game, and they stand for us next to our heroes.
Take Dick Enberg, for example. He started out calling Angels baseball games, moved up to the national spotlight as an NFL announcer for NBC, and became a household name for sports fans. But even after all the games he sat in on, he remained an Angels fan.
If you’re aspiring to become a sports broadcaster, getting a degree in Sports Broadcasting will help you gain the skills and talents you need. At Media Schools, we offer a comprehensive Sports Broadcasting program that will empower you to become the sports boaster you’ve always wanted to be. For more information, review our Sports Broadcasting program here.