If there’s one thing in life I’ve learned from my dad, it’s to not just be prepared— but to overprepare. In school. As a broadcaster. As a reporter.
Malcolm Moran, director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program, spoke to our class Monday about deadline writing and the importance of preparation. Preparation is not just a word you hear successful people use when they give advice, it’s also the key to unlocking doors in your career and your life.
For me, being prepared brings a level of confidence that reminds me what it is I’m trying to do. Moran mentioned how meticulous research and planning led him to find a relevant stat in an NCAA tournament game that no other beat reporter knew about. He found it because he gave himself time to prepare hours before the game, then had the information at hand when it turned out to be needed. That’s overpreparing.
One of my favorite pieces of advice he left us with was “be proactive rather than reactive.” Anticipating what the final score of a game will be is almost impossible, but having a variety of storylines to focus on entering the game, then seeing how things play out, is very doable. I don’t have much experience with deadline writing, but now I have a game plan to overcome that inexperience: overprepare.