March Madness (and “other” sports that drive you crazy)

Get all aspects of the sport, including the coach talking to players.
Record all aspects of the sport, including the coach talking to players.

Spring is here.

The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and . . . what do you MEAN the athletic teams won’t be chosen until the day after my final deadline?!

Now what?!

Such is the most common complaint with books that deliver in June. What can you do to tackle this challenge? We have a few ideas:

Talk to the coaches

First, go see the coaches for your spring sports. They are sure to know at least a few players who will be back on the team. Ask them about unique situations as well. New uniforms coming? The star player out for the season with an injury? Did a lot of seniors graduate and this will be a re-building year? Find the angles that don’t require actual games to be played.

Set up your photos now

You don’t need to wait for games to get out and take pictures. Photos during tryouts and practices will be great (sometimes even better because you can get in closer). Set up situations for the spread. Try “Anatomy of a Serve” as a side story and break down the tennis or volleyball serve. Photograph four different students as they stretch for Track and Field and describe what each exercise is for.

Combine sports

Think outside of the box and combine your sports in a different way so you don’t have to fill up two whole pages for one team. “Stay in Your Lane” can be for both swimming and track. “Ace It” works for tennis and volleyball.

Smaller pieces work

Don’t feel compelled to write a long, formal story on a season that hasn’t even started yet. Go for bite-sized information with many outlets. The swimming spread can include a profile on the star swimmer, an infographic on false starts, another side story on the four different strokes, and a survey of what songs the athletes listen to between events.

Leave a space for the important stuff

In the few cases when you really need to cover the actual season, plan an empty space and then print up a tri-fold with pictures and the full story. This should be reserved only for big events like winning a state championship or a long-time, beloved coach retiring.


Photo Credit: Karen Montgomery


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