Growing up, my favorite show to watch every Saturday was NBA Inside Stuff, hosted by Ahmad Rashad and Willow Bay. The show took an inside look at the NBA, interviewed players and must have been really interesting to keep me occupied as a little girl!

Little did I know, they (among other broadcasters, both men and women) would influence me when I grew up, as I’ve now found an interesting side hustle as a commentator for ultimate tournaments across the country.

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A little bit about me: I earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Texas and was heavily involved in student media. I worked as a local news reporter and anchor out of college in a city, sadly, without an ultimate scene. As my work shifted away from television full time, I was determined to live in areas with more playing opportunities. I was so excited to finally play club and go to practice!

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Now, I’m fortunate to combine ultimate with broadcasting, and it couldn’t be more fun. I try to think about what the audience wants to learn and tailor it with excitement and professionalism. My goal is to accurately convey what is happening, facilitate commentary with the other analyst to give more insight to the game and still be accessible to someone who doesn’t know the sport. What I’ve seen from the booth at tournaments like the U.S. Open, National Championships and World Ultimate Club Championships, I can apply to coaching, captaining and playing in my local disc community of Dallas Ultimate.

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Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tips and lessons that will hopefully help you too:

  • You have to put in the work. This is true for playing, announcing, college, whatever. Watching the Warhawks from North Carolina in Youth Club Championships division at the U.S. Open last year, I saw firsthand the incredible discipline and decision making of these high school girls. Some players are good right away, but it takes work to be great. Similarly, I have to research and learn to ask the right questions to do my part to make the broadcast great.
  • Watch film! Our sport is growing as fast as streaming technology and, as a result, we have so much content at our fingertips. Take advantage of what’s available. Watch your games afterward and critique yourself. Watch the best of the best. I watch games I’ve called, and I’ll watch not only ultimate games, but also other sports to listen and learn from others.
  • Play with confidence. That doesn’t mean playing without mistakes. Mistakes happen, but keeping a short-term memory is key. I’m not perfect – I’ve mispronounced more names than I’d like. I yelled “UP!” into the mic one time when a huck went up. But I usually laugh about it and move on. There’s a difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Push the destructive words and thoughts far out of your mind.
  • Own your accomplishments. I was talking to a female ESPN anchor recently and really downplayed my play-by-play work when I told her about it. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Never minimize what you’re doing. As women, we do this too much. Own your accomplishments.” Be proud of what you accomplish as a player, a captain of your school team, a student and in all other aspects of your life. You earned it, and the rest of us are proud of you too.

Just as several female broadcasters, like Hannah Storm and Suzy Kolber, have inspired me, I’m hopeful my voice in the booth, calling games in the women’s, men’s and mixed divisions, will inspire others to put in the work, strive for their passions and bring more visibility to our wonderful sport.

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