Lindsay Cash

The Journalist’s Path

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Dig deep enough into the soul of a fierce competitor. They have pain listed as a state of mind. Hours of preparation will go unnoticed. They aren’t afraid to put everything on the line in the final seconds of the game. They refuse to hold anything back.

Most fans and spectators see these defining battles as a simple game: a match until the time runs out, a fun activity to slip out of the workplace or to entertain their children. But for a select few, emotions, work ethic, untold stories and characteristics of the competitors are as plain as day.

Sports journalists view the game in a different light. We’re drawn to the competition and every detail leading up to it, as well as the reactions afterward. We live and die with our favorite competitors. We mentally note every aspect of the game, desperately yearning to tell the incredible story to the public in a way they’ll understand. Each person working in the realm of sports television has an active role conveying the excitement of sports to the rest of the world.

Maybe your way is standing behind the camera and doing everything possible to relay actuality to a group huddled around a television. Maybe it’s taking clips from games and creating a provoking piece that demands emotion and appreciation from a fan. Maybe it’s the talent you unleash behind a lens without saying a word. Maybe it’s noticing someone who has a hidden story to tell – one everyone else overlooks – and uncovering an astounding truth to the public. Maybe you’re the journalist that brings tears to someone’s eyes because you dared to tell a story, you refused to hold anything back.

Spectacular deliveries are common in the sports world. But there’s something I’d venture to say is even more common; stories left untold. Seek them out. Tell them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to use your own emotions to dig into the heart of someone else.

Just as it’s imperative for an athlete to sweat and struggle to ever have hopes of being the best, so it is for a journalist. With the public demand in this era, coasting at average speed is anything but an option. The world wants to know more, setting higher and higher standards of being captivated and enthralled. This standard may be worrying for some, but as a journalist, its simply fuel for the fire.

Don’t be afraid to vulnerably look inside and ask yourself what makes you passionate. Spending time in the sports world can create an edge of toughness and intensity for anyone. But don’t lose sight of the reason you were captivated in the first place. Continue to look into your heart and become enlightened and in tune with your passions on a regular basis. After all, passion, or lack of it, drives every single action in every single person’s life. When people lose sight of their passion and grow complacent in routine, tell a story, and draw them back inward.

Television sets are on. Arenas are packed to the brim. Coats are on and kickoffs are in place. The first pitch is right around the corner. The course is green. Eyes of the public are looking. Speak in such a way so their hearts listen.