By: Nathan Ganger
Ball State Sports Link
As the live broadcasts ramp up for Ball State Sports Link this year, the radio voice of the Chicago Bulls, Chuck Swirsky, visited with Sports Link students to give advice on play-by-play and working in the sports industry.
In addition to the Bulls, Swirsky has worked for the Toronto Raptors, DePaul University and the University of Michigan. With over 35 years of television and radio play-by-play experience, Sports Link students made the most of every minute spent with him.
“I still have passion, energy, enthusiasm and an unbridled work ethic to present an accurate, descriptive call,” Swirsky told the Chicago Tribune in 2020. “I have no desire to retire or cut down on my schedule. I love everything about my job.”
The following are some of the major points Swirsky shared with the students.
“You better be ready for competition.”
Swirsky emphasized the sports industry is extremely competitive and in order to succeed, you have to grind everyday, even when it’s difficult.
“You’re going to have days when you feel like you’re the second coming of Al Michaels. You’re going to have days where it’s hard, but guess what? It’s all part of the process.”
“You better take care of your homework, because if you don’t, somebody will.”
Decades ago, Swirsky was told this and it has stuck with him all these years later. He instructed students to focus on their own careers and to not worry about what what’s going on around you. Do your job to the best of your ability and good things will come.
“If you start slacking off, and you start cutting corners, it’s going catch up to you,” Swirsky said. “Somewhere down the road, those habits you develop now between the ages of 18 and 22, it’s going catch up with you if you start taking shortcuts.”
Swirksy made a promise to himself when he entered the sports industry that no one will ever outwork him. Someone may be more skilled than him, but they will never outwork him.
Make your preparation count.
Having a strong work ethic was something Swirksy talked about a lot. He shared that as soon as the Bulls 2020 season ended, he started doing prep for the next season, the 2021 and 2022 drafts and started gathering as much information on teams and players as he could.
With as much access as Sports Link has to players, coaches, game notes, etc., Swirsky emphasized students should use as many resources as possible to prepare for a game.
For any game Swirsky does, he has pages of notes and files on both teams and every player. Even though he doesn’t use every piece of information, he is prepared for anything that may come his way.
Swirsky also said he watches the opponents last three games in full so he gets an idea for how they play, their rotations and any trends he may notice.
Sports Link would like to thank Swirsky for taking the time to speak with students and for helping prepare them for their future careers in sports broadcasting.