As you may know, I work for the Wisconsin Badgers in the Athletic Communications Department. I have worked as a student assistant for the past three years and I've had the opportunity to cover many sports, including football, both men's and women's basketball, hockey, golf, cross country, track and field, and softball and volleyball. It's been an amazingly fun job and it's taught me how to better manage my time because it can be difficult working up to 35 hours a week while going to school full-time!
A few weeks ago I was presented with the opportunity to travel as the primary Sports Information Director (SID) to Florida with the UW softball team. Generally students just work home games and help with covering away games from Madison, but my boss couldn't travel to the tournament because she had to cover wrestling at NCAAs, so I got to experience what it's like to cover a team on the road! (But SO to Kelli for still being so awesome and helping me while I was learning on the road! :) ) Traveling to the USF Under Armour Invitational in Tampa, Florida, gave me an opportunity to learn what it's like to work as a Collegiate SID and taught me a few valuable lessons that I wanted to share with you.
And if you're curious, the Badgers went 3-2... not bad!
1. Nothing ever goes as planned, so have a backup plan... or a few!
Anything can go wrong. Flights, game start times, stats, technology... you name it. Our flight was delayed, so we almost missed a connecting flight and had to RUN through the airport to make it on time (good thing Badgers are so speedy! :) ). Additionally, softball games are delayed a lot due to weather conditions and this tournament was no exception with times being delayed due to rain. Lastly, stats are a big part of being an SID and whether it's unreliable internet connection or lack of power outlets, one can always run into problems with stats, so make sure to have a back up plan!
2. Take extra chargers for your laptop and phone.
I am not joking when I say every charger of mine broke on the trip. Phone charger? Broke on the flight down to Florida. Computer charger? Stopped working on day two. It's a good thing that I took a backup computer and was able to buy a phone charger because it's pretty hard to do a communications job without technology! :) Also, make sure that your devices are all charged prior to games because you never know if you'll have a power outlet or not!
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Since it was my first trip, I was pretty nervous about interaction with the home SIDs. But they were awesome! They were so helpful when it came to handling all of my stats requests for our coaches and making the South Florida press box feel like home! Everyone is in the same position, so don't be afraid to ask questions and interact with home-team workers... they are there to help!
4. Is the life of an SID for your? It's a fun and rewarding job, but one that is filled with long hours and stress.
There's obviously no stress-free job and a good work/life balance is hard to find, especially in the sports industry since sports are going on 24/7. If you're a student that is considering applying to be an SID after graduation, you have to weigh what you prefer your work/life balance to be. Traveling for just four days tired me out and my days were often 12+ hours of work. Working all home and away events for several sports teams for a whole season can get tiring, so potential candidates have to really evaluate if that's the lifestyle for them. It can get stressful at times as a lot of multitasking and improvising can be needed, but it's a rewarding job and one that can be really fun and give you the opportunity to learn a lot about a sport, your team, and a league!
|Always fun when your office involves 70 degree weather, palm trees and the Badgers!|
|The Badgers went 3-2 in the South Florida tournament|
|It was fun getting to know the team and giving the fans behind-the-scenes access of the trip!|