The legendary sportscaster worked with students on a live broadcast simulation
Sportscasting legend Dan Patrick has undertaken a project which he considers to be his legacy: Full Sail University’s Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting.
Patrick's illustrious career in the industry includes 17 years as a studio host at ESPN, during which time he won an Emmy award and was named National Sportscaster of the Year. Now, along with 23-year ESPN veteran Gus Ramsey as the school's program director, Patrick is offering what he believes is a unique – and essential – approach to teaching aspiring sportscasters, one that emphasizes hands-on experience.
In line with that philosophy is the fact that students at the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting will have opportunities to learn directly from sportscasting industry legends, including Patrick himself, who visits the campus throughout the year to work with students and coach them in front of the camera.
In his first visit, during Full Sail's Hall of Fame Week celebrations, Patrick and Ramsey led students through a two-hour sportscasting workshop. In the workshop, students practiced broadcasting recaps and highlights of various sporting events and even gained one-on-one advice from industry legends themselves.
Patrick explained how a sportscaster’s job is to be a storyteller, and not to just provide a play-by-play recap. Although a sportscaster is reviewing highlights, they must be able to tell the audience what is not obvious from the highlight by paying attention to detail. He emphasized that "the best way to excite an audience is to start off with a powerful stat or story and tap into the emotion of the game. It’s important to practice making every highlight sound equally important.”
On a more technical note, he discussed modulation of the voice; this is how a sportscaster must be aware of the volume of their voice. Sportscasters should start at level seven to give themselves the ability to increase and decrease volume.
Patrick defines his teaching style to his students as a real, honest approach. “You are so far ahead of where I was," he said to the aspiring sportscasters. "But in the business, no one is going to tell you the truth. So I’m going to give you some tough love to make you better.”
Something Patrick emphasizes is that students who attend this program will be able to learn what took him years of experience to figure out. Although this program teaches the skills necessary to become a great broadcaster, he urges students to recognize that there is a steep learning process and that will take grit and determination to succeed.
To learn more about the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting, go to sports.fullsail.edu/about.