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What does players' "media training" entail?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Babs, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Babs

    Babs Member

    My question is aimed at those of you who work on the "other" side, in media relations. I see it mentioned from time to time that players are given "media training" during camp. What exactly are they told in these sessions? I'm guessing they are told things like 'answer more than one word but don't ramble on too long,' 'never throw a teammate under the bus,' 'look the reporter in the eye,' and 'speak in complete sentences.' But I'm just guessing here.

    What are they really told?
  2. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    "We're just taking it one game at a time."

    "The guys are all out there giving 110 percent."

    "It was a complete team effort."

    "We just executed our game plan, but you got to hand it to [insert opponent here], they played a great game."
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I interviewed a college football player once moments after "media training" finished.

    I said, "Well, this ought to be interesting since you're all trained and all now."

    He laughed and said, "What a fucking waste of time."

    The only real thing they said, he explained, was to never say "no comment" because that hinted at problems, issues, whatever. Either give a non-answer answer or say "I'd rather not discuss that." Like that's much different from no comment?

    They also gave them the basics mentioned here: Don't be negative, don't rip a teammate, all that jazz. My guy says "So don't ask me about so and so or I might have to break the rules." He was kidding. So and so was a friend and a pretty good player.

    Media training was some smart person's idea to make a lot of money because he/she knew there'd be a lot of takers.
  5. dragonfly

    dragonfly Member

    Check out denitaturner.com

    I used her for a story I did once. Great source. She's worked with a bunch of big names, most notably Tracy McGrady.
  6. Eagleboy

    Eagleboy Guest

    Something that I've had happen - which I like, because I think it makes it more personal - is the media relations folks hand out papers, booklets, etc. to the players with all the media's mugshots on them. That way, they can supposedly know who it is that they're talking to and which are the regulars.

    I've never had a player address me by name, really, in a post-game setting, but if they're making the effort to hand these things out, it's a good idea in my book.
  7. As long as your name and mug shot aren't on the page entitled, "Never talk to these guys!"
  8. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I've sat through some of these before. One big component is "role playing" where the athletes pretend to interview each other. It can become hilarious but ultimately useless.

    There's a lot of "don't be negative" and "don't say no comment" but there's also "here's where to draw the line, shut the fuck up and refer all questions to the media relations department." And they're also coached on how to steer a conversation away from a touchy topic.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Most of the ones they do at the professional level can be quite good for the players...

    The ones at the college level are usually 1,000 times more paranoid since they still feel like they can scare the kids into saying exactly what they want...
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    It's stuff like look people in the eye, try to learn and use the names of the regulars, say, "That's a good question" while you try to think of an answer instead of "uhhhhhh......"

    They also teach them to give non-answers to leading questions.

    Most of it is about basic courtesy and trying to be friendly instead of treating the process like an ordeal.
  11. MartinEnigmatica

    MartinEnigmatica Active Member

    And that obviously worked out. From her website, Tracy McGrady says:
    "She made me believe in myself," McGrady says. "It seems like I was doing okay before, but when we started working together, it seemed like my life did a 360."

    You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around...that's what it's all about.
  12. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Believe it or not, Skate Canada conducts this with their figure skaters annually. I believe it's Debi Wilkes who conducts these sessions. Not only are these sessions on how to deal with the media, but also public appearances as well. From figure skaters I have talked to that have done these sessions, they find it informative and very useful.
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