Someone asked me the other night at a basketball game what I do to prepare for a game. So I thought I would walk you through my routine leading up to going on the air. It’s basically the same for every game that I broadcast.

It begins about two days before the game. I go into the production room at the radio station and record a promo for the game. The promo needs to be thirty seconds, I add my sports music bed to my recording. I don’t write anything down, I start the recorder and do it off the top of my head. I edit it and it gets put into the computer in the main studio to play a number of times before the game.

Production room at KLQP radio

The day before the game I will begin my homework on the two teams. I use a number of websites, like minnesotascores.net camdenconference.com wctrib.com mshsl.org marshallindependant.com and Steve Bruce on Twitter. Steve is amazing with his love for high school sports, especially basketball. He is a true basketball junkie! He keeps stats on everything and is a big help to me. I also follow a number of local sports reporters on the different social media sites to get information. I gather as much information as I can from both teams and write them down on a sheet of paper.

I will always remember something that Ray Christensen the former Gophers radio broadcaster said one time. Ray said a good radio broadcaster will always do his homework. I have always remembered that. The more I know from talking with coaches, kids, parents the better the broadcast. Play by play is easy, I like to add the personal stories to the broadcast. I will admit, I have failed a few times not knowing something about an athlete or coach that should have been mentioned on the air. That makes me work harder.

On game day, I pack my backpack with the radio equipment. I bring three headsets, cell phone and a mixer. Plus I pack some player of the game t-shirts and make sure I have the Subway coupons to hand out to the Neon Needles Player of the Game. I make sure I have extra batteries for the mixer, and extra pens to write with. I put my homework in the bag, along with two bottles of water and maybe a candy bar. I’m ready to go to the game.

Last Friday I left Madison about 4:30 for Prinsburg. I like to arrive early and visit with coaches and parents. I ask lots of questions to get information to use on the broadcast. When I arrive to the press area I unpack my bag and set everything up. I then call the radio station to make sure we have a connection. Then I hang up and study my homework and make more notes.

I then call the radio station and begin my broadcast. I love doing play by play. With all the teams I follow I get to know the players, coaches, parents, grandparents well. So when I broadcast I am their biggest cheerleader and I hope that comes through the broadcast. After the broadcast, I drive back home. When I get home I usually find something to eat and sit in my recliner and catch up on my social media posts. Posting scores and pictures of the Neon Needles Subway Player of the Game. Then before I go to bed I prepare for my local sports report that I do at 7:15am the next morning. The next day at work I will post the game on our podcast site. That’s my routine for broadcasting sports. My favorite part is doing the homework and visiting with people and of course doing the play by play of the game! What is more amazing is I get paid to do something I absolutely love to do. I would broadcast for free, but please don’t tell Maynard that. So that is what I do to prepare for a game!

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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