In addition to my TV job, I’ve taught piano lessons for a number of years. I’ve heard all the excuses as to why my students didn’t practice. And every time I hear one, I say the same thing. You’re not going to get better unless you practice and I’m sure you could have found 5-10 minutes a day to practice. That’s all the time it would take to learn one song a week.
The same lessons apply to sports conversations. If you don’t practice you won’t get any better at it and all it takes is a little practice every day to show improvement. It’s important to note that improvement shows up in a number of ways, like increased confidence, more sports knowledge and easier conversations. How do you practice? Start participating in conversations. Before the nerves kick in and the anxiety takes over, remember that conversations can be a series of questions. Or it can be a very short exchange.
Here’s an example of a conversation I witnessed just this morning. I was sitting on a bus with the rest of the Mariners broadcasting crew. Kevin, a radio producer, looked up from his sportspage and asked …
Kevin: “Did you see what the Royals did to Yuniesky Betancourt?”
Rick: “No, what?”
Kevin: “They fined him for dropping a routine pop up in a game.”
Rick: “Did they really? I hadn’t seen that yet.”
About 10 minutes later, a few more people had taken their seats on the bus and Rick turned to Dave and said…
Rick: “Did you see what the Royals did in Kansas City?”
Dave: “No, what happened?”
Rick: “Kevin was just telling me they fined Yuniesky Betancourt for dropping a routine fly ball.”
Dave: “Wow, hadn’t seen that, but that’s something.”
See how easy that is? Both conversations were short, but interesting. Take a closer look at Rick’s part of both conversations. He asked 2 questions in the first conversations, then repeated the information he learned by asking those questions in the second conversation.
But the easiest way to participate in that conversation was to sit back and listen, like I did. I didn’t read that article today, but I know enough to be familiar with the subject if it comes up in future conversations.
More proof that Talk Sporty to Me is easier than you think.