Trying to dive into the world of sports media is a daunting and anxious task, even for the most prepared among us. For those that don’t know me, I’m fairly new to the world of sports journalism, although I have been a lifelong follower of both sports and journalism. My life has taken me many places; I have traveled the world doing humanitarian work, been to war, had career stops in politics and even law enforcement. At no point did I ever imagine that I would find myself covering the team I grew up rooting for, but in a way each of those experiences helped me bring a unique perspective and voice to my writing.
I recently had the idea of crowd sourcing advice from the wide world of Twitter, hoping that people far more accomplished and wise than myself would share a lesson or two from their career, that may in turn help many of you as you start on your journey. The responses to my simple question have exceeded my wildest expectations, and I wanted to find a way to share some of the best advice given by so many.
I wish I could share every valuable response I received (feel free to read through on Twitter!), but I have instead compiled some of the most relevant and noteworthy responses. The advice has been remarkable, whether they came from an industry giant like Scott Van Pelt, a world class author like Stephen King or a local reporter just getting their feet underneath them.
There were of course trends in the answers, as one would expect; “work hard”, “don’t say no”, “have a unique voice”, but many shared lessons and wisdom that only come with experiences, success and failure. These are those lessons.
Finding Your “Voice” and Differentiator:
Remember, Popular Doesn’t Always Mean Good:
Prioritize Authenticity and Objectivity:
Embracing the Journey and Creating Opportunity:
Curiosity Is Crucial:
On the Importance of Passion:
Preparation and Persistence Payoff:
Always Be Humble:
Network, Network and Then Network Some More:
Build Relationships Not Just Contacts:
Never Stop Reading:
Never Stop Writing:
If you made it this far, I hope you found something useful in all this, even if it was a single piece of advice that helps you on your way to chasing your dream. This can be a tough industry, there’s no way around that, but there are good people and opportunities out there, and it can be incredibly rewarding despite the challenges. For those of you who are in a position to help those starting out, remember it takes nothing to be a resource or a mentor for those who need it. We all started out somewhere after all. If I can be of help, or you just need a bit of encouragement, I’m around.
Best of luck to you friends, and remember to embrace the challenge, your passion will find a way.
Written by Colin Beswick