30 Oct Can a kid shatter age barriers in sports media?
Life is about experiences. Most people think those experiences shape you a little when you are a kid and you really learn and become what you will when you are an adult. When everyone did everything the same way, this was the case more especially as technology made us less independent to be able to soar ahead.
However in today’s world, technology is at our fingertips allowing us to learn faster than ever before including more kids getting ahead faster. There is also a stronger entrepreneurial mindset because it’s not just a few fields for a career like medicine, engineering, teaching, and such. Now you can make apps early in life or get viral young or not play within defined limits to go to school and then college and then do what you want.
So we are here in 2019 and still many don’t want to allow rules to be ‘broken’. Many want to make rules and punish or get upset if someone colors outside the lines. Yet it is the trailblazers in life who didn’t let the norms define them who often excel and while building up are put down but once succeeded are applauded. There is a long history of this from tech entrepreneurs to today’s environmental activists and especially the young kids.
So what do you think of an industry like sports media? It is an industry where you have never ever seen a visible kid reporter despite the hundreds to thousands of sideline reporters and others nationally. It is an industry where if a kid asks a question, the feeling is aw how cute vs. that’s as good a question as anyone and why are we not seeing more young talent. What exactly is the difference between sports media and entertainment media? In entertainment, kids are everywhere from starring in tv primetime shows to reality shows around kids to movies with kids to music stars who were / are kids. Yet in sports, the control is done by many who haven’t changed with the times and prefer the approach of go become an adult first and then if after years you still feel like doing reporting we can help.
It’s time to change this. Imagine if a kid did an experiment to see what the reactions would be if they tried to shatter the barriers that prevent a kid from breaking through. What would a 2-year experiment look like? What if they started at 11 years old and did about 1,000 interviews with the elite stars / legends of the game from the NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, PGA? What if they talked to Super Bowl MVPs, World Series MVPs, NHL Stanley Cup MVPs, etc,.? What if they covered events from Final Four to the Pro Bowl to PGA to NCAA and NBA games? Isn’t it curious how they would do this and what reactions they would get?
In terms of what can a kid really do – check out INSTAGRAM GLOBAL KID MEDIA to see and check out the resume on https://www.linkedin.com/in/globalkidmediaoninstagram/ to see the list of stars. To do all that work, it takes some incredible grit and determination. It’s much harder yet when much of this work is independent because the gatekeepers refuse to give you access not wanting to support a young talent or looking for obstacles to stop you vs. reasons to innovate and support you. Why you can’t: you are too young, you are not large enough, our rules don’t allow this, we think possibly we could get in trouble so we prefer to play it safe, you will open the door to others who want to do this. For those few who believe: we love what you are doing and support you, we think you are a trailblazer and give you full support, you are helping inspire the next generation and that’s what our mission is.
At the end of the day, it’s sad to say that this experiment finds more people who love the 2 letters NO vs. those who tear down walls and build you up vs. looking to tear down saying YES we will open doors and help. There are so many who want to put an iron fist down including universities and leagues promoting we love to give opportunities and help kids yet telling you get out of here and if you dare to persist we will isolate you as a non-respectful person who can’t follow the rules which are only designed to keep you out of here until you are an adult. There are also those like a breath of fresh air who say we are not afraid to go against the grain and sports media needs more creativity and fresh voices with diversity in the room to liven things up knowing also that young talent get better reactions often which makes for more enjoyment and the audience also getting more creative content to absorb.
If you are in a position to help open doors – GO OPEN THOSE DOORS. Get out of that mindset that something can’t be done and shouldn’t be done. Especially look at what someone has accomplished already. If a kid can dedicate 2 years and almost 1,000 interviews touching almost every major sports with major stars from each sport doing diverse pieces from inspirational to stories to funny to content as good as anyone else, why can we not open more doors in national sports media. It’s time for a national tv sideline reporter who is a kid and ESPN has proven via Little League World Series broadcasts that kids can hold their own just fine even announcing. Watch unbelievable things happen when you support early success. Those kids succeeding at 10 to 15, will be passing it on and leading the sports / media world at 25 with further abilities because they started early. Don’t stunt this growth. See what magic can happen. Please reach out on LinkedIn or Instagram Global Kid Media if you want to be a supporter.