Woohoo!!! Happy New Year to all the readers out there. Can’t believe it is already 2018. I will say that I am going to miss 2017 for many reasons, one being that 17 is my favorite, lucky number. A second reason I will miss 2017 is because I have experienced so many positive life experiences this past year.  It can be hard to leave these experiences behind.

Nevertheless, it is time to start a new year, things are changing, and I am entering the year of unknowns.  This could be scary if you think about it.  Will my year be full of wonder and excitement or will it be full of dread and fear?   All I know is that I am in charge of my life and I am in charge of how I handle what life throws at me.  Since I am Captain Jessica of my life, I want this year to be great and filled with adventures.  For 2018, I am going to make myself a rule that somehow, I will fill my life with adventures.  I don’t mean boating trips and hiking mountains, although that would be kind of cool as well, I mean different types of learning adventures.  It can be an adventure from something I experienced or learning from others that inspires me. These adventure stories can be from the past, present, and even something to hope for in the future.

My Recent Adventure Experience

This brings me to my recent adventure.  First let me say that I feel that I have a heart of a storyteller.  I have a passion to learn more about communications and broadcast media (my potential college major).  Recently, I had the opportunity to have a shadow day with on-air broadcast personalities from FOX Sports for the Nashville Predators NHL Hockey Game.  Coolest day ever!!!  I got to walk in their shoes for the entire day.  I experienced the happenings and the work of a media sports broadcaster.  Let me say that I learned a lot and I savored every moment.

Play by Play of the Day

First, I am going to give you a play by play of what all happened. I arrived early at Bridgestone Arena and we entered the building to meet one of my favorite people, Jenn Maxwell.  She is the wonderful person who reached out to me about the internship shadow day. So, I just want to stop and take a moment to give a big thank you to her, the broadcasters, and all the crew who helped make this day possible.  Now to continue with the play by play. Jenn and I went over to meet Lyndsay Rowley and Terry Crisp (aka Crispy), the two amazing sports broadcasters.  We were at the location where FOX Sports broadcasts the hockey coverage.   For those familiar with Bridgestone Arena, you can see this station right between section 103 to 106.  I find out that broadcasters start their day very early. In fact, this morning and afternoon, they were already analyzing both team practices.

It’s around 5:00pm and I was able to meet with Lyndsay Rowley first.  At the station, I got to ask her all sorts of questions. She was so kind, funny, and helpful.  She inspires me so much.  After that I look over at Terry Crisp “Crispy” and he has the biggest smile on his face.  You can totally tell that he loves what he does.  He reminds me of my own grandfather and I instantly felt how sweet he is, and comical too.  I then got to interview him and ask for any advice about the sports broadcasting business. Crispy has won the Stanley Cup twice, once as a player and another as a coach.  I am sure he has some great stories to tell.  But that will have to wait.  Now the game has started, and I get to watch them both do their thing.  To me, this is magical, and I absolutely love this platform.

The behind-the -scenes crew gave me a headset to wear and follow along with what happens during the broadcast.  I also came prepared with my clipboard, notes, and tons of information sheets.  You could almost mistake me for the associate producer or someone on the crew.  With my headset on, I could hear everything the producer was saying in one ear as well as what Lyndsay and Crispy were talking about on their show in the other ear. I was told you get used to hearing the different “voices” coming from each ear at the same time and, with practice, everything you hear in your headset will make sense and not be too distracting.  I learned that when the reporters are “on air”, they have the little ear piece in one of their ears to hear what is going on and what the producer is telling them.  They are sometimes getting information about discussions for the next segment or what is happening on the ice.  In between “on air” segments, the broadcasters are studying the players, the game and the plays that are occurring.

During the next break, Jenn took me down through the Lexus Lounge to go meet Kara Hammer, the sweetest rink-side reporter. I got to chat with her a bit and ask her some questions as well before she went on air. Then at the end of the first period, I saw Kara conduct an interview with one of the Predators hockey players.  It was motivating seeing her interview.  I examined how she asks questions and how she does her responses.  I absolutely loved meeting with her and I learned a great deal from Kara.  After I got to spend some time rink-side, I then went back up to the FOX Sports station to watch Lyndsay and Crispy finish the rest of their show. I joined the crew again and put my headset back on.  I am only a few feet from the reporting of the live sports broadcast.  I hear the producer, I hear the crew, and I hear the commentary.  I can also hear the fans.  I am in the loop of the action and feel like I can jump in at any moment if they need me to call a play or two.  Maybe, just maybe, I can even call out the power play or the assist.  In this moment I went from being a fan to being a super fan!

What I Learned

Throughout the process of the experience, I really felt like I was on a learning adventure.  Not only did I learn, I also felt inspired and I knew that I wanted to pursue getting more and more involved in this platform. When I got to talk to Lyndsay I learned so many valuable, unique things. I asked her all sorts of questions.  I asked her about being a young and eager broadcaster, is it better to move around and take the opportunities as they come, or stay and grow where you are? I learned that what worked best for her was to take as many opportunities as you can.  She told me that she took every opportunity that came her way.  She never said no to an assignment even if it meant driving for hours to get there.  She would always work hard and give it her best.  Those that worked with her always knew she could be counted on.  Lyndsey had advice for young aspiring broadcasters.  She suggested when starting out, try working at the smaller stations so you can possibly get more hands-on work experience. She gave me so much information and was so nice and personable. I really enjoyed my time with her. Plus, while I was talking to her I actually got to sit in Crispy’s chair.

When Crispy gave me advice for young, aspiring broadcasters, he gave me sensible wisdom. He looked at me and said two things, “have fun” and “be you. ”He then went into detail to explain about how those are essentials in this business. I absolutely love how he said the two most simple things that made so much sense, and yet it is so obvious.  But I think that everybody can take those two pieces of advice and add more of it in to our daily lives.  So, lets remind ourselves to have fun and be you at whatever it is you do in your life.   One of my favorite pieces of advice Kara gave me would be that you should always connect and network with people.

 The Adventure Experience

I have gained so much insight that night, which makes me even more excited to see what new adventures will come my way. But what my big take away from my Predators NHL Hockey+ Bridgestone Arena + FOX Sports = Broadcaster Reporter Intern Shadow Day was that you have to a goal in life, or even a “destination” that you want to get to.  If you set your mind to your goal you can achieve it, then you should try or do anything that will bring you closer to your intended mission in life. Reach for the next level. Just like how this adventure experience will help me. I am using this wonderful experience as a stepping stone to my future.

There truly is a great deal of hard work and a science behind being a sports broadcaster.  Personally, I think that Crispy, Lyndsay, and Kara have it mastered.

Happy Adventures!

Positively Jessica

Jessica Meyer

I invite you to visit my YouTube channel Positively Jessica where you can learn about me enjoying life and my new “vlog the blog” series to see more about my blog creation and behind the scenes of this article.  https://youtu.be/sV4CJ3OYh2o Enjoy!