How to Become a Sports Analyst

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To become a sports analyst, a person needs a thorough knowledge of the specific sport in which he or she plans to work. In many cases, sports analysts are former professional athletes who use their experience in the sport to provide commentary during a game. However, some sports analysts are former sports reporters and journalists who have developed trusted sources over years of interviewing players and coaches. Since the reporting and journalism industry is expected to decline over the next decade, the number of available jobs for sports analysts is very small.[1]

Wikimedia Commons: Staff Sgt Kristi Machado USAF
Education Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience
Starting pay $20,770[1]
Median pay $37,090[1]
10 yr growth Slower than average: -13%[1]
Related professions Baseball announcer, reporter
Author Selena Robinson

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Sports Analyst Job Overview

The job of a sports analyst is to analyze the performance of athletes, the effects of a win or loss, and the future prospects for a sporting organization. Analysts who work on television often give their opinions about which team will win a game, how a team will fare over the course of a season, and what kind of changes a team may need to make to its roster or front office staff in order to improve its chances of winning.[2] Sports analysts may also conduct interviews with coaches, trainers, and general managers to learn about upcoming changes to a team.[3]

Sports Analyst Research Jobs

The majority of sports analysts provide on-air commentary during professional and collegiate sporting events. However, some sports analysts work in the research department of a media organization. They look up sports statistics, examine footage of past games, and provide background information for on-air reporters to use during a broadcast. These jobs often require knowledge of database software, mathematics, and computer programming.[4]

Sports Analyst Education

Since many sports analysts are former professional athletes, the bulk of their education comes from years of playing professional sports.[5] However, most of these individuals have also attended college and received an education in journalism or broadcasting. For analysts who do not have professional sports experience, gaining a bachelor's degree in Journalism or Communications can greatly increase the chances of getting hired.[6]

Sports Analyst Training

All aspiring sports analysts need to receive formal broadcast and media training. Even former athletes work on their television broadcasting skills so that they can talk naturally and fluently while they are on the air.[5] Analysts who have never played a professional sport may need to familiarize themselves with commonly-used language that is specific to each sport. They also need to learn the rosters of each team so that they can mention players by name when necessary.

Sports Analyst Career Tips

Sports analyst Chris Broussard offers tips on how to break into the sports analyst industry

Also See: How to Become a Baseball Announcer, How to Become a Reporter, How to Become a Journalist, How to Become a Sports Agent, How to Become a Professional Baseball Player


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