Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just some tips for the SID - Part 1

From time to time, I have these topic ideas for this blog pop into my head. But on occasion, some of them just don't seem like they would develop into a good, full-blown posting. So, I'm going to take a few of them and put them into one blog post.

They're just some tips, ideas and thoughts that I feel every sports information director should know, but usually no one ever tells you.

So, here are the first batch of tips:

1. The clothes do make the man (or the woman).

Now, I'm no stylist or fashion expert. I am a married man, and my wife has taught me well. (Somewhere during our 12-plus years of marriage, I listened and things started to sink in.) That said, what you wear says a lot about you and how others perceive you.

Too many times - and I once fell into this boat, SIDs wear only a polo shirt and khakis. All the time. Even seen some in T-shirts and shorts.

Understand that some of the events SIDs cover dictate what you wear. I mean, you will not find me in a dress shirt and tie at a baseball game. Nor will you if I have to be on the field having to take photos. At football and/or basketball, yes, but not at baseball.

I have heard it said many times that people just don't take SIDs seriously or treat us professionally and/or with respect. My response, if you want to be treated as a professional, look like a professional.

How can anyone take you serious if you don't take yourself serious?

I realize SIDs are largely in the background and are not meant to be seen, but people do see us. What kind of image are we sending by how we dress? Remember, we represent the student-athletes, the coaching staff, the athletic programs and department and the institution we work for. What message are we sending out by are choice of clothes?

One of the mantras I like to adhere to is: Don't dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want. Some day, I would like to become an athletic director. (I think. The more I see it, the more I'm not so sure. LOL) So, if I want people to take me serious as a potential candidate for an athletic director position, I need to lay the groundwork now that I take my current job serious and that includes my appearance.

2. You're not competing. Fellow SIDs are your friends.

Yes, we work different schools and institutions. And yes, we all want 'our' teams to win. HOWEVER, we are not the ones competing.

We merely represent those who are doing battling on the playing field, and it's our job to report the action - good or bad. We are to be neutral, unbiased parties to the events.

So, when gearing up for an event, game or match, SIDs of the competing schools should help one another. We're all in this together, and our jobs and lives would be made much easier if we just help another out.

Lastly, please respond to requests in a timely manner. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to complete a project because you are waiting on info from someone else. If it is going to be a while before you can get the info to your fellow SID, please let them know.

A little common courtesy goes a long way.

3. Don't do your student-athletes a disservice. Fill out nomination forms out correctly.

As SIDs, we represent and promote our student-athletes. We should do everything we can possibly do to help our student-athletes receive all the recognition they deserve.

But it amazes me at how some of the simplest things are overlooked. For example, not filling out nomination forms out completely or correctly.

Having been in this business long enough, I've been 'fortunate' to be one a number of different committees. I am on CoSIDA's Academic All-America Committee, which seeks to honor the best and brightest on the field of play and in the classroom. I am also enjoy the duties of helping selection our conference and national players of the week. So, I see a lot of nomination forms. LOTS OF THEM.

And when I see one that isn't filled out correctly, it raises a lot of red flags and doubts. For example, how can a goalkeeper make eight saves when they face zero shots on goals? How is it possible for a volleyball player to record 15 kills on 13 total attacks? How can a goalkeeper face 10 shots on goal, make seven saves and record a shutout?

I am not doubting that the student-athlete had a great week on the field, but when the forms are not correct, how can I take them seriously? It raises a lot of doubt about the student-athlete's 'worthiness' of being up for the award, and it's not fair to them.

When we as SIDs do not fill out the forms completely and correctly, it does not harm them. It hurts the student-athlete. We should be doing all we can to help and promote them, not set them back.

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Well, that's all I've got for now. I'll have some more tips, tricks and ideas to share later on.

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