Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sportscasting Prep | Football, Basketball, Baseball and Volleyball

First blog post in a while, but I feel like this as good of a time as any to write about broadcasting prep and what methods/materials I use for different sports. I've had a lot of broadcasters, especially young broadcasters, inquire about prep materials and what I use while broadcasting a game. What I use might not work for everybody and I advise everyone to tweak whatever they want to make it fit their needs. Everyone does it different. To me, the most important part is knowing where everything is on my spotting board/notes and having easy access to any storylines/stats/roster info that I need during the course of the game.

See below for a breakdown of how I prepare for each sport. I would be more than happy to share my spotting board template for each sport with any broadcaster that is interested. Feel free to email me at youngpbp@gmail.com and visit my personal website, www.AdamYoungOnTheAir.com.


Football | This is my first year doing Football on TV so I'm still making some adjustments as I go but the spotting board (printed off on card stock paper and taped down on thick poster board) is the most important part of Football preparation. I also have an 'info sheet' document with me, a note card full of storylines for both teams that I can hit on coming in and out of breaks and a 'drive chart' that I update as the game goes on.

On the info sheet, I have a team stats section, info on the coaches, last game/next game info, more storylines, notes on the stadium and more.  

On the spotting board and info sheet, I use a handful of highlighters to differentiate what the stat/note means. For example, if it's highlighted in green it means last season. For orange, it's a team leading, conference leading, or among the national leaders stat. When I use the purple highlighter I'm highlighting past school info. So purple is used only for transfers. Blue is for trends. For example, stats that mention what the player did last game or what they have done in their last three games, four games, etc. Yellow highlighter is for storylines on my board that I can refer to. This method works for me and helps me access what I need immediately. 

Also, on the spotting board, I quiz myself countless times leading up to the game on the players. I make sure I can recall who number 7 is on Arkansas State without looking down at my spotting board. Especially with Football, there are so many moving parts and action happens so quickly, it's hard to look down and find who the player is quick enough to deliver timely info to the viewer. If you're doing it right, you are calling the action without even looking down at your board to search for a number/name. It's ok to search for info in-between plays and when there is a break in the action, but it's never good when you see number 3 is the running back and you're having to scramble for his name as the ball is being snapped.

Basketball | This is the sport I have the most experience in and I've used the same spotting board and prep routine the last couple of years. I have a one page board printed on thick card stock color coded with all the information I need for the broadcast. I also have an 'Info Sheet' document with me just like Football and a note card full of storylines for both teams that I can hit on coming in and out of breaks. 

Just like Football, I use the highlighter method and the same memorization process leading up to the game. When I go into a game, I can tell you who number 23 is without looking down at my board. Just like Football, things happen so quick you don't have time to scramble for info. The board is there for stoppage in play when you have time to look at it and grab info. See the picture to the right for an example of my board and info sheet.

Baseball | This sport is very different from the previous two. No spotting board is needed. Instead, the scorebook is your best friend. I still use the highlighters and a note card with storylines. 

The Bob Carpenter scorebook is an outstanding scorebook that I highly recommend. I've been using the same guy back home to make my scorebook since I got started in the business. I make some minor adjustments each year on how the book is made and he takes care of it for me. As you can see in the picture, all the info I need is readily available. 

In game, I highlight strikeouts with orange and walks with green so I can easily count the number of strikeouts and walks for a particular pitcher when I need that info. I also use a yellow highlighter to divide pitching changes. As you can see in the picture, I load my scorebook with info leading up to the game, especially in the starting pitcher column. I've used the same method going back to my pro baseball days. My advice - find the system that works for you and continue to tweak it. 

Volleyballl | Volleyball is such a fast faced sport so memorizing names/numbers on your board before a match is crucial. It's impossible to call this sport effectively and efficiently if you don't do this. I use the same spotting board format as I use for Basketball, but of course I have different info. I've used the same spotting board and prep routine the last couple of years. I have a one page board printed on thick card stock color coded with all the information I need for the broadcast. I also have an 'Info Sheet' document with me just like Football and Basketball and a note card full of storylines for both teams that I can hit on coming in and out of breaks. Just like Football and Basketball, I use the highlighter method and the same memorization process leading up to the game. When I go into a game, I can tell you who number 10 is without looking down at my board.

For easy access to setter/libero info, I highlight the liberos number in green and the setters' numbers in orange. 

Play-by-Play Thesaurus Sheets | I also have terminology sheets that I use for each sport. I carry these with me wherever I go and also make a point to look over them at least twice before I go on the air. These are used to make sure I'm not repeating the same words over and over. You can describe the same play many different ways and this helps keep the broadcast fresh.

I'd be more than happy to email the play-by-play thesaurus sheet I have for Football, Basketball, Baseball and Volleyball to anyone who is interested. Feel free to reach out at youngpbp@gmail.com. 

Hope you enjoyed the post. Take care!

                          -Adam Young

Friday, May 1, 2015

College Seniors: Sportscasting Advice

It's that time of the year. College seniors interested in Sports Broadcasting are either getting ready to graduate and head off to their first post-college job in the business or they're still grinding and trying to find that first job. Either way, it's always nice to receive emails from young broadcasters who are nearing graduation and are hungry to make an impact in the business. Reaching out for advice/feedback is always a good start when getting ready to begin your career.

As I've done before, I thought I would put together a post with some advice for sportscasters entering the 'real world.' Five years ago (May 2010) I was getting ready to head off to Fayetteville, North Carolina (14 hours away) and start my first post-college gig. Hope this advice can play a small part in helping out others in the same position.


  • Work your tail off >> A strong ethic will take you a long way in this business. If you combine some talent and a solid work ethic, good things will happen. Don't be the No. 2 broadcaster in pro ball that refuses to help out in the ticket office, put on the mascot costume at an appearance, help clean the concession stand postgame, pull tarp during a rain delay, stuff ticket envelopes, etc. Be the broadcaster who is a 'team player' and cares about the organization. If you work hard, good things will happen.
  • Be willing to go anywhere >> I've had to move twice already in my career. I moved to North Carolina right after college and to New Mexico after spending 4 years 15 minutes from my hometown. Tough decision for sure, but I always told myself I would go anywhere if it would benefit my career. You have to have that mindset or your career won't progress the way you want it to. Quality jobs that are offered to you don't come around all that often so take advantage. Ask yourself, "will this move get me closer to my ultimate goal?" If the answer is yes, pack your bags, fill the gas tank and find a place to live.
  • Network/Stay Connected >> Most folks get to a point in their career where the people they've met along the way play a BIG part in jobs they do/don't get. My references played a huge role in helping me get the recent job I took. Constantly send your work to people you respect in the business. There are some vets in MLB, NBA, Colleges, etc. that are MORE than willing to help out young broadcasters. If you aren't sending out your tapes to get critiqued by those folks, you're behind. Not only will they give you great advice on how to go about your career, they will give you the honest feedback you won't receive from friends/family.
  • Get Reps >> Unless you're Bob Costas who was REALLY good calling St. Louis Spirits bball on KMOX in St. Louis right out of college, you are going to be rough on the edges early. The best way to get better is reps. If you're going to do pro ball for the first time you'll find out this summer how much you can improve from day 1 to day 61. Your tapes will improve greatly as you get more innings. I refuse to listen to my 2011/2012 tapes. Just like everyone else, I got better with time. Listen to your own tapes during the season, get feedback, find ways to improve.
  • Don't Fall Behind >> If you have a seasonal summer gig with a pro baseball team, think ahead. Don't wait until August to map out your next step. September will sneak up on you quickly so get ready for after the season, during the season. Send out demos & resumes constantly in June/July.
  • Be realistic >> Every 22-year-old broadcaster would love to start at ESPN and some think that's a possibility. Realize this is a process and ESPN doesn't come calling overnight. The reality is you're probably going to be calling games for a team/radio station in a state you've never been to and in a town you've never heard of. With that said, treat every broadcast like it's your World Series/Super Bowl. Someone is giving you the opportunity to call games as a 'JOB' -- take full advantage of it.
  • Don't get discouraged >> You're probably going to apply for hundreds of jobs as you near your college graduation. There's a chance you may only get a couple of return emails or return calls. That's okay. All it takes is one. When I was graduating college I told myself, all I need is someone to take a chance on me. For the most part, after you get that first break and get your foot in the door, you can then make some of your own breaks. Rejection is a part of the game. Stay patient and don't give up just because you aren't getting the response you are hoping for early on.
  • Respect the business >> You're getting the chance to call games for a living. Never take it for granted. In a lot of cases the job you have is a job that many would love to have. Realize how lucky and fortunate you are. Don't be thinking about the job you didn't get -- be thinking about the job you DO have. Someone is PAYING you to broadcast a sporting event. That's pretty neat stuff.
  • Set goals and have dreams >> My goal coming out of college was to broadcast Division I College Basketball on TV and call MLB games on TV by the age of 26. The front end of the two I was able to achieve, but the second one I wasn't. That's okay. Setting goals is all about having something to reach towards. Getting to call D1 basketball on TV at the age of 26 was a proud moment for me this year because it's something I've worked towards my entire career. Should I be upset because I didn't get to my second goal? Not at all. If you work hard and put yourself in the best position to succeed, that's all you can do. Good things will happen if you work hard, stay determined and dedicate yourself to this craft.
                       -Adam Young

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

(VIDEO) New Mexico State MBB Prepares For 3-Game Homestand

Hello all!

New Mexico State MBB is gearing up for a 3-game homestand as they welcome in Grand Canyon and Utah Valley this week. The Aggies have been outstanding at the Pan American Center this season, going 9-2, which includes an OT loss against then No. 24 Colorado State.

NM State had their 5-game win streak snapped Saturday @ Seattle. Coach Menzies talked about the Seattle loss and the Bakersfield win from the last road trip during yesterday's weekly press conference inside the Pan Am. Below is the link to the full presser.

Marvin Menzies Weekly Presser (January 19)

I sat down with coach today on New Mexico State Sports Weekly. Coach previewed the upcoming games this week against the 'Lopes and Wolverines. He also spoke about the injury status of SR star Daniel Mullings. Coach Menzies said Mullings may play Thursday vs. Grand Canyon. See below for the interview with coach from NMSW. Go Aggies!

Marvin Menzies NMSU Sports Weekly Segment (January 20)

Below is the TV channel info for the MBB games this week:

 Thursday vs. Grand Canyon (Aggie Vision): 
    LIVE -- FOX Sports Arizona, Altitude Sports, Fox Sports Pacific, Comcast & ESPN3.

 Saturday vs. Utah Valley (Sinclair/American Sports Network):
   LIVE -- Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, MASN Sports, Altitude Sports.  

 -Adam Young

(VIDEO) New Mexico State WBB Continues Rolling: Win Streak Reaches 6

Hello all!

New Mexico State WBB continues to roll. Mark Trakh's team has now won 10 of their last
11 and 6 straight after a couple of nice wins last week at home against Bakersfield and Seattle. The Aggies are tied at the top of the WAC (3-0) with Texas-Pan American. This is the first 3-0 conference start for NM State since '08.

Below is the link to the postgame segment from our telecast of the comeback win against Bakersfield last Thursday. The Roadrunners were the preseason pick to win the WAC and the Aggies were able to erase a 20 point second half deficit to force OT and get the W. 

The Aggies now start a 3-game road trip with a pair of games this week @ Grand Canyon and Utah Valley. NM State has won 2 straight road games, including an impressive road win against a good Southern Utah team right after Christmas. Below, NM State head coach Mark Trakh talks about this week on today's episode of New Mexico State Sports Weekly.

We'll have both games for you on radio this week >> Thursday night @ Grand Canyon and Saturday afternoon @ Utah Valley. Go Aggies!

     -Adam Young

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One Chapter To Another: On To New Mexico

Hello all:

Thursday was a bittersweet day for me. After four years as the play-by-play Voice of the Gateway Grizzlies & a broadcaster for both SIUE and McKendree University, I accepted a position with New Mexico State University (Division I/WAC).

First off, I want to thank everyone with the Grizzlies, Cougars and Bearcats for giving a young fresh out of college 22-year-old a chance four years ago. Also a big thanks to Saint Louis University and Washington University-St. Louis and every other organization/college I've called games for the last four years.

This decision wasn't an easy one. I grew up in St. Louis and have been able to settle in near my hometown and do what I love. I called games for teams and colleges I grew up watching and was a short drive away from family. I was happy, but not content. I was still searching for that 'big break' and I feel like I got it with my new job at New Mexico State University.

I'm joining a University that is BIG on TV broadcasts. I'll get the chance to call play-by-play on TV and Radio while also serving as the host of the weekly coaches show on TV (below is an example of one of their shows from last year).

The TV broadcasts and coaches shows will be airing on FOX Sports Arizona, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX College Sports, Comcast in New Mexico, Altitude Sports and ESPN 3. 

I'll be leaving for New Mexico next Wednesday morning and my first assigment is on September 5th. My first Football TV play-by-play game will be on September 20th when New Mexico State takes on New Mexico on FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Arizona & FOX College Sports.

I'll be finishing the Grizzlies road trip with games this weekend in Washington, Pennsylvania. I will also do the first inning Tuesday night before officially handing things over to Sam Levitt for the rest of the season. It looks like the Grizzlies will be doing a little ceremony on-field during the second inning Tuesday night.

It's hard to leave the St. Louis area, but this opportunity is to great to pass up. Thanks to everyone who has listened along the way. Go Aggies.


   -Adam Young

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Remembering 'JJ': Jonathan Johnson Becomes a New York Met

One of the good guys got some great news Saturday morning as Grizzlies second baseman Jonathan Johnson had his contract purchased by the New York Mets.

Since I took over for Joe Pott in 2011, there hasn't been a player wearing the Grizzlies uniform that cared more, respected the game more and wanted to win more than 'JJ'. While I could list how many bases he stole, his career on-base percentage, his career average, how many hits he stole away from opponents, etc., I'll instead go behind the scenes and explain what I've witnessed since 2012.

I still remember Spring 2012 when Johnson came to Gateway. He was acquired in an offseason trade from the American Association and Grizzlies manager Phil Warren was already raving about this left-handed hitting second baseman that he thought could be his table-setter at the top of the lineup. Quickly, I noticed the hype. He was pesky, had a swagger to him and played the game the way every person should. Whether the score was 2-2 or 11-2, Johnson still sprinted on the field every inning, ran out every ground ball and ran down every foul ball until it went to the seats. Simply put, he was like a kid in little league. He was thrilled to be out there playing and never took it for granted. Never a lack of hustle - maximum effort every game, every inning. In a world where all scouts tend to look at is numbers, I always wondered doesn't this matter?

He hit walk-off home runs, made game-saving defensive plays, received standing ovations for remarkable
sliding over-the-shoulder catches and continued to make his hometown of Lakewood, CA proud every single time he took the field. He was a leader, one heck of a teammate and easy to get along with for everyone in the organization. In a league where guys come and go, Johnson was a mainstay for three years and the face of a  franchise. Dads could tell their kids, "that's the way the game is supposed to be played" when watching Jonathan Johnson.

Well, 'JJ' got his chance. His dream is to make it to the major leagues and this opportunity brings him closer to that dream.

I know I speak for everyone when I say we are going to miss 'JJ', still follow his career closely and continue to pull for him as he takes this next step.

Thanks for the memories, JJ. Continue 'chasing the dream'.

        -Voice of the Grizzlies, Adam Young

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grizzlies Continue Homestand Tonight/Early Season Notes

We are 17 games into the season and the Gateway Grizzlies have a raced out to an 11-6 start.
After an 8-2 start, Gateway has gone 3-4 in their last 7 games. Nonetheless, a solid start for Phil Warren's team.

Gateway will continue their homestand tonight with Game 2 against the Rockford Aviators at GCS Ballpark. Right-hander Aaron Newcomb, the only local player (Carlyle native) on the Grizzlies roster, gets the start tonight. Newcomb is off to a hot start with a 2-1 record and a 0.47 ERA. Warren preaches series wins and so far the Grizzlies have won 4/5 series.

Early season notes:

  • Gateway is second in the league in runs (87) through 17 games.
  • The Grizzlies have the third best ERA in the league (2.97).
  • Gateway has shown the ability to steal bases early in the season with 27 swipes in 17 games.
  • After this series, Gateway will play their next 6 games on the road.
  • Closer Richard Barrett has yet to allow a hit in his 6 innings of relief (4 saves).
Below are radio highlight montages from recent games. Go Grizzlies!

Grizzlies/Rockford June 3 Radio Highlights

Grizzlies/Schaumburg May 29 Radio Highlights

Grizzlies/Rascals May 25 Radio Highlights

       -Voice of the Grizzlies Adam Young