Tuesday, May 20, 2014

200 Reps - Talking Broadcasting with Jeff Montgomery

Last night I was on the wireless camera for the Royals game.  The cameras normally live in an auxiliary radio booth.  When I walked in to get my camera last night Joel Goldberg and Jeff Montgomery were in there working on something.  They were leaving and I started talking to Montgomery.  I asked him how he got into broadcasting.  I told him I was a broadcasting teacher.  He said they just called him.  The Royals and Fox Sports had heard some of the stuff he had done on the radio (just interviews) and they called to see if he was interested.  They brought him in and basically threw him to the wolves.  The next thing he told me I thought was really interesting and started me thinking about how I teach.  He said that at first it felt like they threw him in a race car going 200 miles an hour and it was hard to keep up.  He felt like he was drowning and by talking to the producers and guys that had done it before they said it would take reps - 200 or more reps to get really comfortable with everything.  That number blew me away.  He related it to baseball in that the more you play, the game slows down.  

200 reps!  I knew there was a learning curve.  I’ve seen both him and Frank White work through this.  I remember White’s first year as a broadcaster.  It seemed like all he did was laugh.  Then he started throwing in some tidbits and by the end he was a lot of fun to listen to and I felt like I was learning something every time I watched.  I’ve seen the same thing with Montgomery.  He started out rough but has really grown into the roll.  Do we give our kids enough reps?  I know for me the answer a lot of times is no.  We teach something once and expect the kids to have it.  I’m not talking about direction following - my kids on our current project (green screen weather reports) are struggling with simply following directions.  I’m talking about understanding a concept, I’m talking about getting comfortable on camera, I’m talking about getting smooth at tasks we ask them to do over and over again.  

My next big question is where is the line in a classroom between getting in good reps and being boring?  How do you handle those kids that need less reps to be comfortable with something?  Is there a way to decrease the number of reps it takes?  Would short, specific help videos decrease this number, or help make the reps better quality?  How do we help the kids have quality reps - instead of just going through the motions?

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