Great basketball play-by-play finds balance in word economy to match the pace on the court.

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Keys to NBA-Caliber Basketball Play-by-play

Learn all the fundamentals you need to make your basketball play-by-play NBA quality.

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STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid

Use the STAA Play-by-Play Pyramid to build your basketball broadcasts from the foundation up or use the pyramid as a self-critique guide.

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Group Critique 28: May 2019

This month we are featuring radio critiques of basketball, baseball and an interview. The TV critique features basketball play-by-play.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A simple exercise to help you immediately find your big play voice
  • What it means for a play-by-play voice to get out of the library and onto the roller coaster
  • Two words to eliminate from your play-by-play vocabulary
  • An example of a strong interview question technique
  • Something you can get away with radio but not on TV
  • Good example of word economy in TV Play-by-Play

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Group Critique 27: April 2019

Your April group critique includes an interview, plus play-by-play critiques of football and basketball.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A helpful technique for asking good questions.
  • The interview equivalent of time and score.
  • Why it’s important to ask open-ended questions.
  • Right and wrong ways to give the score.
  • Various ways to convey energy and drama.
  • What basketball voices should be doing instead of narrating every pass.
  • Terrific examples of plots, subplots and character development.

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Group Critique 26: March 2019

Fitting that a month of March Madness should feature an all-basketball edition of the Group Critique with both radio and TV Play-by-Play up for review.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Where pauses will quickly improve your basketball play-by-play.
  • The two most important differences between radio & TV play-by-play.
  • How to handle one of the biggest play-by-play challenges.
  • Suggestions for overcoming a nasally delivery.
  • A common word to avoid in your play-by-play.
  • When to mention which team has the ball other than after a change of possession.

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Group Critique 25: February 2019

Love basketball? Then this is the group critique month for you: Jon is reviewing four clips, three basketball and one football.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A good example of how you can make your listeners care about your broadcast.
  • A “small investment, big reward” technique for conveying emotions of players and coaches to your audience.
  • Advice for controlling tempo in your basketball broadcasts.
  • The play-by-play fundamental that is similar to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
  • Great examples of how you can hear a smile on radio and why it matters in your broadcasts.

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Group Critique 24: January 2019

Ringing in the new year with a new round of radio critiques in the basketball and hockey departments.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A common mistake in description that hurts more than it helps.
  • How to increase your energy without sounding over the top.
  • Examples of what basketball broadcasters should do instead of narrating every pass.
  • A unique, effective description to add to your basketball vocabulary

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Group Critique 23: December 2018

Ho ho hope you pick up some useful tips from this month’s group critique session. Radio critiques of basketball and football play-by-play plus a double helping of football TV play-by-play.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • When using the shot clock becomes a PBP crutch
  • How to tell if you’ve prepared well for your football broadcast
  • When to watch the field and when to watch the monitor

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Group Critique 17: April 2018

On the radio side Jon critiques basketball, football, and hockey play-by-play. TV critiques include basketball play-by-play and a sports anchor/reporter reel.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • A great example of basketball description
  • What to say while you work on ID’ing the tackler
  • How to use time and score to build drama on a TV PBP broadcast
  • Why your facial expressions add to your sportscast

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Group Critique 16: February 2018

It must be basketball season! This month’s session is almost exclusively basketball PBP (including a TV demo)… with a little sports talk hosting to spice things up.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The phrase that might be softening your sports talk opinions
  • When the shot clock becomes mandatory info in basketball PBP
  • A good example of when it’s okay to fall a count or two behind
  • Types of description to leave out of a TV PBP broadcast

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