How to Become a Sports Analyst

You’ve seen them on TV and heard them on the radio, providing color commentary, reciting dizzying statistics by memory, narrating the play-by-play of the big game. Sports analysts play a very important role in presenting and explaining sports to modern audiences. As specialized journalists, sportscasters concern themselves with providing factual information, covering press for sporting events and interpreting the action for viewers. Becoming a sports analyst isn’t easy, but with the right experience and dedication you can rise through the ranks of the sports broadcasting industry.

EditGetting an Education and Building Skills
Learn as much as you can about sports. Most sports analysts start off as sports fans. Once you’ve decided to pursue a career as a sportscaster, absorb as much knowledge about sports as you can. Keep up with collegiate as well as professional teams, and follow multiple sports rather than just one or two. A good sports analyst is expected to be like a walking encyclopedia of sports information.[1]
It is not enough to know all about one team, or even one sport. Sports analysts have to possess a thorough knowledge of all the most sports, including football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, golf, boxing and even Olympic and extreme sports.[2]

Become well-versed in statistics. Start paying close attention to game outcomes, player stats, win-loss records and other statistical information. Commit as much of these facts as you can to memory. Statistics is the language of sports analysis. As an analyst, your job will be to make authoritative assessments and predictions based on statistical models.[3]
There is far more use of mathematical principles in sports analysis than most people realize. Taking a formal statistics course or two will help further your understanding of how these principles come into play.

Earn an undergraduate degree in a related field. Go to school and work towards a degree in journalism, communications or broadcasting. While it’s not strictly necessary to have one of these degrees in order to land a job in sports journalism, most employers prefer that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Online programs are also available for those who are unable to attend university classes.[4]
Holding a degree, along with the right experience, can give you an advantage over those without an education when it comes to getting hired.

Many online programs can be completed in less time than a full term at a university, and include all the most relevant courses, such as news reporting, media ethics, sports psychology and broadcasting.[5]

Consider going for a graduate degree. Once you’ve earned an undergraduate degree, think about channeling your efforts into a post-graduate master’s or doctorate level certification. Many graduate programs include courses that focus more specifically on sports analytics and broadcasting, meaning you’ll be getting an education in your chosen field of expertise. These credentials will be very impressive to potential employers.[6][7][8]
A graduate degree will require you to significantly narrow your area of focus, which may not help you get your first job but can make you a commodity for special positions later on.

EditGaining Experience
Play a sport. If you have the opportunity, think about trying out for a sports team. Having a practical knowledge of the sports you’ll be reporting on can be a major plus. Becoming an athlete will give you a chance to work closely with other players, coaches, recruiters and journalists, and afford you a behind-the-scenes look into the workings of the industry.[9]
If you’re not a student and don’t have the option of trying out for a school team, look into joining a community league in your area.

Quite a few well-known sportscasters got their start as players rather than educated journalists.

Hone your communication skills. Start writing out your thoughts and analyses of sporting events for practice. A substantial amount of the expert opinions offered by sports analysts are written down in the form of blurbs, editorials and written interviews. You should also work on polishing your verbal skills and becoming comfortable talking to people to prepare for conducting interviews and appearing on radio or television.[10]
A lot of writing goes into sports reporting, even if you’re working in broadcasting. The better you’re able to write, the better you’ll be at doing your job.[11]
Devise a system for interviewing players, coaches and other personnel. Know how to make the best use of a short interview segment, and which questions to ask to receive the information you’re after.[12]

Make industry connections. Attend sporting events regularly and meet as many industry professionals as you can. See if you can take up a minute of the coach’s time, or ask a sports reporter or even a camera technician how they broke into the business. Give your name to everyone you meet and let them know that you’re interested in getting started as a sportscaster. This way, they’ll remember you once it comes time to put your networking to use.[13]
Don’t be shy about asking for advice. Most sports reporters are very comfortable talking to people and will be happy to share the secrets of their success with you.

Look for a job in sports journalism or broadcasting. When you feel prepared, start seeking out jobs in sports journalism. You may have to smart small initially, working for community newspapers or an independent local television station. There, you will find expression for your love of sports while learning the ins and outs of the business. Begin compiling copies of the articles you write and any tapings you appear on to have a portfolio to show to more prestigious employers in the future.[14]
Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble landing a job at first. Sports analytics is one of the most competitive professions in the nation, and the market is constantly saturated with hopefuls. However, this also means that the demand for hardworking people is very high.

No one begins their career with one of the major sports news networks like ESPN. In all likelihood, working your way up will require you to travel and even move to new cities to work for different press agencies and gather the experience needed to make you an asset to the bigger companies.[15]

EditReaching a Professional Level
Provide credible information. Like any journalist, the mission of a sports analyst should be to provide the public with factual, reliable information. Take care to research facts carefully and represent them faithfully in your write-ups. Call upon your statistical proficiency to produce accurate figures and predictions, and share your own insights whenever you have the chance. Sports fans will be counting on you to provide them with reports that they can count on.[16]
Always verify a piece of information before you relay it to the public.

Aim to construct a network of dependable sources that will give you an inside line on developing updates.

Get comfortable being on the radio or TV. While some sports analysts are confined to offices researching and writing reports, others will find themselves presenting these reports to the masses on the air. If you intend to advance into broadcast journalism, you’ll need to cultivate a distinct professional demeanor and be at ease working in front of the cameras. Learn to think on your feet and stay poised and you’ll quickly get over the nerves of appearing in broadcasts.[17]
Talking for the radio or TV cameras can be intimidating, but will become easier the more you do it.

It may also be a good idea to know how to work with teleprompters, research databases, word processing programs and other technology utilized by professionals.[18]

Be able to meet strict deadlines. As a sports analyst, you will be expected to have prediction models, written columns and other materials prepared under strict time constraints. Get in the habit of starting projects right away and taking an organized approach to data collection and analysis. It’s important that you be able to work briskly and efficiently under pressure and meet a consistent quota.[19]
Your daily workload as a sports journalist will vary depending on where you work and what your exact job description is, but will more often than not include extensive paperwork that has to be submitted in a timely manner in order to support the information included in broadcasts.

Stay up-to-date on sports news and results. Keep watching sports and following the action of different teams, leagues and events. Even if you’re not observing from the press box, you should do your best to stay current on major developments in the sports world such as game results, player trades and injuries and team personnel changes. Your reputation depends on your ability to keep up with all types of sports-related information at once. Luckily, this is the most rewarding part of working as a sports analyst—getting paid to immerse yourself in what you’re most passionate about.[20][21]
In addition to your own research, you should know where to turn for credible, up-to-the-minute sports reporting. Follow the major news outlets like SportsCenter and ESPN to catch the big stories as they unfold.

Make use of your professional sources for exclusive inside information.[22]

If the job market for traditional sports reporting is oversaturated in your area, try looking for jobs with online publications and sponsored blogs. These can make a great platform for launching your career.

Read books and listen to interviews with famous sportscasters to find out more about how they got their start.

Rather than approaching your new career as an eager fan, you should learn to think like a coach. Becoming a successful sports analyst is not just about reporting facts but knowing what factors need to be in place to win games and make a team great.

Be willing to learn and continue honing your craft, even after you’ve done it for years. Your goal should be to constantly refine your expertise and the ways you’re able to relate it.

Working hours may be very long and arduous with demanding deadlines in the midst of different sports seasons.

EditRelated wikiHows
Become a Sports Journalist

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Today in History for 15th January 2019

Historical Events

1902 – Abdulaziz Ibn Saud leads 40 men over the walls of Riyadh and takes the city, marking the beginning of the Third Saudi State
1955 – Dmitri Shostakovich’s “From Jewish Folk Poetry” premieres in Leningrad
1956 – Dmitri Shostakovich appointed honorary member of Academia Santa Cecilia
1964 – Teamsters negotiate 1st national labor contract
1982 – “Forbidden Broadway” by/with Gerard Alessandrini premieres in NYC
2009 – Chesley Sullenberger lands US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in NYC. All passengers and crew members survive in what becomes known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1747 – John Aikin, English doctor and writer (d. 1822)
1905 – Torin Thatcher, British actor (Houdini, Isranbul, Lady Godiva), born in Bombay Presidency, British India (d. 1981)
1912 – Michel Debré, French politician, born in Paris, France (d. 1996)
1960 – Tim Curtis, English cricketer (England righty batsman in 5 Tests 1988-89), born in Chislehurst, United Kingdom
1970 – Michele Granger, American softball pitcher (Olympic gold 1996), born in Anaheim, California
1973 – Essam El-Hadary, Egyptian footballer, born in Damietta Governorate, Egypt

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1705 – Walraad, the Young, earl of Nassau-Ottweiler/gov of Nijmegen, dies
2000 – Georges-Henri Lévesque, Canadian Dominican priest and sociologist (b. 1903)
2005 – Deem Bristow, American video game voice actor (b. 1947)
2007 – Pura Santillan-Castrence, Filipino writer and diplomat (b. 1905)
2007 – James Hillier, Canadian-American inventor (co-created the electron microscope), dies at 91
2008 – Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Game Designer (b. 1964)

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How to Clean a Bamboo Cutting Board

A bamboo cutting board is stronger, more durable, and more hygienic than a wooden cutting board. They also look great and are a more sustainable material than wood.[1] They do, however, require special care and maintenance in order to prevent them from being damaged. You will need to wash your bamboo cutting board quickly and carefully so that it does not warp or crack. If your bamboo cutting board gets stained or starts to smell, there are easy, natural ways to restore it. To keep your bamboo cutting board in prime condition, you will also need to coat it in mineral oil occasionally.

EditWashing a Bamboo Cutting Board
Wash the cutting board in warm water and soap quickly. Wash your bamboo cutting board immediately after use, and do not wash it for more than a few minutes. You should also prevent hot water from coming into contact with bamboo because it can damage it.[2]Do not use an abrasive material to scrub your bamboo cutting board. Rub the board with your hands or a soft cloth if you need to remove larger pieces of food.

Avoid soaking your cutting board in water. Bamboo is sensitive to heat and moisture, especially over prolonged periods. Do not put your bamboo cutting board in the dishwasher or let it soak in the sink, or it will warp and develop cracks.

Rinse your bamboo cutting board with lukewarm water. Make sure to get all of the soap and food residue off of the cutting board by holding it under the running water. Even though the water is not hot, you want to limit the board’s exposure to water, so rinse as quickly as you can.[3]
Dry your bamboo cutting board immediately. As soon as your board is rinsed, dry it off with a soft towel. After you have dried it with a towel, stand it up vertically and allow it to air dry.[4]Air drying the board can take a few hours.

EditRemoving Stains and Odors
Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the surface of the cutting board. Ideally, you should do this immediately after you have washed and rinsed your cutting board, but before it has been dried. Apply extra salt to any stained areas. The salt will act as an abrasive material for scrubbing and it will soak up excess moisture.[5]If you are dealing with a particularly stubborn stain, apply some baking soda instead.[6]

Scrub the board with a halved lemon. Lemon juice will kill bacteria and remove odors from the bamboo. Hold the citrus side of the lemon against the board. Press it into the salt and move it back and forth in a scrubbing motion until the salt has disappeared.[7]Make sure you also scrub the corners and edges of your board.

Cover the surface of your cutting board with another layer of salt. Spread the salt out evenly. Do not scrub off this second layer of salt.Your cutting board should still be somewhat wet from the lemon juice when you apply this second layer of salt. Do not dry the lemon juice off of your cutting board.

Leave the salt on the cutting board over night. If you cannot leave it out over an entire night, you should let the salt stay on the board for at least 2 hours.[8] The lemon juice needs time to penetrate the wood, and the salt will then soak up the excess moisture.
Remove the salt from the bamboo cutting board. Use the back of a spatula to scrape off the salt. Take a damp clean cloth and wipe off any remaining residue.[9]You can reuse this salt until it is no longer white. Just scrape it into a container and store it.

EditPerforming Regular Maintenance
Heat up some mineral oil until it is warm. Pour the mineral oil into a small pan and heat it on the stove until it is warm to the touch. You do not want it to be hot, just warm enough so that the oil soaks into the bamboo.[10]Only use food grade mineral oil on your bamboo cutting board.

Drizzle the warm oil onto all surfaces of the cutting board. Only do one of the large flat sides at a time so that the oil will spread more evenly. Don’t forget to oil the corners and edges.The oil will create a protective barrier that keeps enough moisture in the board to prevent cracking from dryness, but keeps enough water out to prevent warping.

Work in the oil using a soft cloth. Spread the oil around the board using the cloth to get an even coat. Rub with the grain if your bamboo cutting board’s grain has a uniform direction. If it doesn’t, buff in the oil using a small circular motion.[11]Once the oil has soaked into one side of the board, repeat the process with the other side and the edges.

Let the oil soak into the bamboo for at least 1 hour. If you are able, you may let the oil soak into the bamboo overnight. Position the board upright on one of its edges while you let the oil soak in.[12]After the board has soaked, wipe off any excess oil with a clean cloth.

Make sure that you set the oil-soaked board on a surface that will not be damaged by oil stains. Putting it on a plate or an air-dry dish rack would be ideal.

Store the cutting board in a cool, dry place. Prolonged exposure to heat, moisture, and even direct sunlight can cause damage to a bamboo cutting board. Try not to store it with objects that might scratch it like sharp knives and metal utensils.[13]
You should only need to oil your cutting board 1 or 2 times a month. Some people prefer to treat their cutting boards with oil after every use. This can be time consuming, but it does offer more protection for your cutting board.

A bamboo cutting board will last longer if you only use it for specific purposes. To preserve the bamboo for the longest amount of time, do not use it when you are chopping tough, acidic, or abrasive foods.

To reduce the chance of cross-contamination, use separate cutting boards for raw meat and other foods. Because bamboo is porous, you might consider either never cutting raw meat on it, or only using it for raw meat.[14]
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