I had my first couple of appearances as an analyst with the Big Ten Network this week!
On Tuesday, I was in Iowa City, IA to call a game on the opening night of the season. On Wednesday, I was in Chicago for a studio show.
I’ve called games on the radio and spent a little time in the studio with the local news. Those experiences were incredibly beneficial for my development in broadcasting, but this was a bigger stage.
I was overwhelmed.
I didn’t know the difference between a “roll-out” or “laying out.” I’d never done an opening for a game or interviewed a coach after a game. I wasn’t used to having an earpiece with a producer commenting and counting down in one of my ears. I got a crash tutorial of how to use the telestrator in the minutes leading up to the game.
The best thing I was told — “Be a ‘basketball-talker’.”
I found myself getting caught up in all the new terminology and timing issues and camera placements — but then the producer told me, “Don’t try to be a broadcaster. Be a basketball-talker. Don’t worry about being polished, just talk about the game that you know and love.” I knew I could do that.
I was also nervous.
I didn’t quite know how to prepare, so I did my best to over-prepare. And I took deep breaths as I felt my heartbeat quicken. I kept a water bottle nearby because I knew my mouth would get dry. I prayed a silent prayer as the lights came on.
The best thing I told myself — “This is where the good stuff happens.”
Nerves are good. It means it matters. This is the position I want to be in. For some reason, I actually like those feelings of overwhelm and nerves. I like having the pressure to perform. I wasn’t anywhere near flawless, but I did it. And overall, it went well! I had fun, and I know I’ll be better next time.
There’s only a next time though, if you show up this time.
So show up in the small things. Show up in your preparation. Show up with your nerves and under pressure. Show up when you don’t feel ready.
Show up as you.