BY CORY STACE | Ball State Sports Link
It’s 10:30 p.m on the West Coast. There’s still three hours left of the drive home from San Luis Obispo, California to Long Beach.
In the sports broadcasting world, it’s easy to let thoughts creep into your head.
“Why do I broadcast? Is all the work worth it? Am I ever going to make it as a broadcaster?”
I don’t have the answers to these questions. There is no telling whether I will make it as a broadcaster. The answer is different for each person.
What is “making it” in the broadcast industry? Each broadcaster answers the question differently. The answer depends on his or her goals.
What I do know is every single broadcaster has asked themselves these types of questions at some point in his or her career. It’s natural.
At the start of a broadcasting career it can’t be about the money because the money will simply not be there. A broadcaster must develop a driving force. Why do I broadcast?
I broadcast because I love the fact going to work means going to watch a sporting event. I receive a platform to describe a sporting event in real time to an audience who wants to listen.
This summer, that broadcasting platform has taken me to Long Beach, California broadcasting baseball games for the Long Beach Legends, a summer baseball team in the California Collegiate League.
While broadcasting every game for the team this summer, I have started to develop a clearer picture of my driving force. For me, it’s the audience.
Sure, I have my own personal goals as a broadcaster, but there is nothing that means more to me than to have a parent tell me thank you for broadcasting their son’s games this summer because they wouldn’t be able to watch their son otherwise.
Those are the type of comments I hold onto when challenges arise. I remember for whom I broadcast for. Ultimately, the broadcast is for the fans.
I came to a team this summer which had no broadcasting platform in place. I have been able to provide a platform for parents and fans to watch every game. I am broadcasting 40+ games live on YouTube with a radio broadcast overtop of a simple GoPro camera with a wide shot pointing towards the field.
It’s not much, but it works, and it provides the fans with a place to follow every games.The Legends play almost every day, only receiving 10 off days through a 48-game season.
Needless to say, most of my days are spent at the baseball diamond. When I am not at the field you can find me at home preparing for the next broadcast… or exploring California occasionally.
I am the only intern for the Legends as opposed to other teams in the league that have upwards of 30 interns performing various media positions.
Being the only intern, I try to take on as many roles as possible, and I take pride in attempting to have as much coverage as any other team in the league.
These roles include running all of the team’s social media platforms, making graphics, making videos, and serving as the team’s media respondent, while also broadcasting every game.
During a long season, it’s hard to show up every single day with the same working mentality, the players on the field will be the first to tell you.
Whenever I feel like I have had a down day personally, I continue to realize the coverage for the Legends is not for me but for the audience following.
If I can go away knowing that I have provided valuable information to the audience, I can step away happy. Although happy, not content, I am always trying to best myself from the day before.
Is all the work worth it? I continue to answer yes. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be doing it. I look at the progress I have made as a broadcaster, and I look forward to the progress to come.
Whenever I find myself asking that question, I think back once again to the reason I broadcast.
A parent coming up to me before a game to tell me how appreciative she is to listen and then feeling comfortable enough to open up about difficulties her family and son have faced through baseball. Those are the moments I hold onto.
So, at 10:30 p.m. with still three hours of driving ahead, tired eyes and more game preparation waiting for me at home, is all the work worth it? Yes, yes it is.
Am I ever going to make it as a broadcaster? Well, I’ll get back to you on that.