How-to: Increase Your Sports Literacy

Posted: 2010/05/31 in Public Relations, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again. One of my dream jobs would be to get some really sweet job in sports public relations. I grew up around a variety of sports- from basketball to soccer to tennis to golf and thus consider athletics merely a part of life. Although I didn’t play any of these sports in particular (I did equestrian events), I remember all the different sporting seasons and wishing that I knew more than I did.

Sports seem to have a language all its own. Listening to my father, brothers and the myriad of other men throughout my life discuss Michael Jordan’s latest play, Edgar Martinez’s homerun or Roger Federer’s amazing serve confused me. Since I decided that that’s what I wanted to do, I told my boyfriend (who is quite the golfer, actually) that I really want to learn the basic roles of various players and the rules of the games.

One day, when I represent high profile players, I want to be able to keep up on the gossip, not to mention, it’s great summer BBQ conversation. So I am making it one of my many missions to increase my sports literacy. I want to know exactly what a line drive is, a first down, and birdie shot.

After doing a little bit of online research, I realized I’m not the only one without a clue about all the fancy, shmancy sports lingo. Luckily for all of us sports illiterate citizens, there are resources for us that exist. Some of these include:

1) Incidental Contact: Learn to Love Sports, a website that sells audiobooks detailing rules about a variety of different sports that are mainly targeted to women. Check it out.

2) Also, a kids’ guide is, where children or practically anyone who reads it can learn everything they’d ever want to know about their favorite sport.

3) Finally, and this is something I’m trying to do more often, is to keep up with my college’s various athletic teams, as well as keeping an eye on ESPN SportsCenter and such. Ask someone to fill you in if you hear something interesting about a particular athlete or team and then just start keeping yourself up to date.

Obviously, like everything else, sports literacy isn’t something easily picked up by everyone. Just like learning a different language, some people pick up the grammar and rules more easily than others. However, you can increase your literacy enough so that the next time someone brings up the topic of the Cavs, you can just smile and nod and say, “Yeah, that was a ridiculous foul, wasn’t it?”


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