Sunday, October 25, 2015

How to become a sports writer


          (My own image from inside the Philadelphia Flyers locker room at the Wells Fargo Center.)

As the game begins: Life is your perception of reality. You are mostly responsible for almost everything that happens in your adult life. Own your dreams. Work toward them every single day, in some way, even if that means that you are simply thinking forward. Always continue to make friends, at all stages of life. And, ALWAYS be a friend, which means that people don't need to ask for your help - you offer it, or simply give it, including to people that you don't even know. 

Many talented people strive to work in the world of sports. But, how does someone actually make that dream come true? For starters, consider adapting your goals.

My own background includes a degree in Communications, front office experience at the start of my professional career in the Philadelphia Phillies' farm system, and work as a 'stringer' back in the old 'newspaper is king' days. But, everyone doesn't need to have that specific experience in order to gain access to the world of professional sports.  

1. Make friends

Always treat everyone you meet with respect. That sounds simple, but can be hard to implement at every moment. However, we never know how far good impressions can go. 

I've had many experiences where someone I met voluntarily connected me to another person who became a sports' connection. 

2. Work smart and work hard

Natural intelligence, or past success, doesn't automatically equal future success. That 'strategy' relies on random chance.  

Work, work, work, work, work, work, and keep on working. Yes, you should make certain choices in the efforts that you pursue. But, stay focused, honest acknowledge if your goal(s) need to be adjusted based on realized outcomes, and progress will (not should) result in unexpected ways. 

3. Be resilient

I voluntarily left the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons organization because some people who were important in my personal life needed my help. I chose to move in order to help them, rather than allow those great people stand alone. I have never regretted that choice, as it was the right thing to do on every meaningful life level.

After making that choice I didn't drop my dream of working in professional sports. But, I did adapt it as the years passed. 

As time flowed I wrote for a newspaper and then, many years after that, adapted my print skills to the online world. Doing so allowed me to create new sports' contacts. 

I literally attempted to make connections with more than one thousand people since 2010, when I returned to writing about sports again. That approximate number isn't exaggerated, but represents efforts across many life 'platforms'. Doing so eventually led to the creation of business contacts with the Philadelphia Flyers. And with that, access was gained that allowed me to gain a media credential. 

Similar efforts have allowed me to interview current and former athletes, in various sports beyond hockey, and also to interview people who work outside of the sports' world. 

End Game: I ask that you re-read my introduction in order to reinforce all points made. So here it is, again: Life is your perception of reality. You are mostly responsible for almost everything that happens in your adult life. Own your dreams. Work toward them every single day, in some way, even if that means that you are simply thinking forward. Always continue to make friends, at all stages of life. And, ALWAYS be a friend, which means that people don't need to ask for your help - you offer it, or simply give it, including to people that you don't even know. 

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