Topline thoughts by Sande Charles, host of AZ Audibles, here at Sports360AZ.com
Each year, I set goals for myself. Two of mine last year were to #1- work for Sports360AZ and #2 was to cover high school football in a big capacity, including covering the championship games on FOX Sports Arizona. Thankfully, both goals have come true… well one has and the other is about to in a few days. As I have been preparing for the championships, I have had a lot of emotions. One day I cried because I can’t believe it’s happening and the other is because those evil voices in our head that tell us lies, have been loud and proud in the last week. So it got me thinking, ” I am sure I am not alone in this.” So I decided that I wanted to give you a look into my life as I prep and give advice for those who one day want to be a sports reporter and host.
First and foremost, research, research, research. It is going to have to become your best friend. My research prep started last week at the Media Day on Tuesday, November, 23rd. After Media Day, I went home and spent hours transcribing all of the interviews. I then jumped even more into the interviews by researching everything either the coach or player said. I put my storylines together from that research and then went to town putting my information together. Through this process, I was able to see where there were holes in my research or story. So I reached out to each coach, again asking if I could speak with them and stop by their practices. I continued to research and prepare every single day. I took Thursday off for Thanksgiving (though I did bring my backpack to my family’s get-together in case a window of opportunity existed to further work) and got back right to it on Friday. On Saturday, I drove to Chandler High School to follow up with a few players Coach Garretson had mentioned. After I was done, I went to eat and back home to prep before having to work the UofA/ASU Territorial Cup (sorry, still having a hard time addressing them as UArizona).
Sunday, I usually work at a yoga studio front desk, but this Sunday, I took off to prep and stay in bed, read, and practice.
I went to bed early on Sunday so I could start the week off on the right foot. I started Monday with more research and reading before heading into work to tape and work at Sports360AZ. A new AZ Audibles is out! Be sure to be on the lookout where we rapid-fire talked about each championship game.
After work, I rushed home because I had a call with Chandler’s Head Coach, Rick Garretson, again. I had a few loose ends I needed to tie up to be able to tell the whole story. After I spoke with Coach, I was back on the phone for a one-hour session with my on-air coach to make sure I wasn’t missing any aspect of my job before Saturday. (Words of wisdom: No matter what, you will never stop learning. You could be doing this for 15 years, and there is still more to know.) After my session with my coach, I had another call with the Williams Field Head Coach, Steve Campbell. Then it was back to the drawing board of putting it all together.
An important note about me: I need to relax and let some of the stress off when I get into work mode like this and the gym is my place for that. So through all of the research, all of the calls, the meltdowns and the rejoicing, I find time to get to the gym and keep my mind and body healthy.
If you are going to be in the business, here are a couple of my thoughts:
Be nice, first and foremost. Be a team player. Do your research. You can not just get by in this industry by being attractive. Especially as a female, KNOW your stuff. Respect others’ time, especially for the coaches and the players. They have a lot of people tugging at them so be respectful and don’t bombard their time or make outrageous demands. Research! (have I said that one yet?) Don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Through this process, I have reached out to others that cover high school sports, asking them to help me get the facts straight. (Shout out to Cody Cameron from Arizona Varsity for meeting me) We are all in this together. There is room for everyone at the top. Don’t compete. Women, cover-up. Let your talent do the talking, not your clothes or lack thereof. Lastly, research some more.
I think that’s enough for me. My door, aka DMs, are always open to help those that need anything. I am back to, yup you guessed it, doing research, praying and practicing. (Worship music is always playing in the background as I read and write)
Good luck out there and don’t forget, we are all in this together.