Telling stories.

Why I am writing this?

Well, I’ve gone a lot of places and met a lot of cool people with amazing stories in the last year since I graduated college.

I’m a sports dude. I majored in media and work at a television station and radio station. Both part-time.

I’ve looked at full-time jobs, and am still looking, but right now, I’m being patient, and gaining experience in the fields I love.

They’re different, too. Working in sports requires a lot of weird hours. With these jobs, I’ve had plenty of excitement, and have been frustrated, too.

I love both my jobs at the radio and television station, or at the Pentagon, or for BizNow. I mean it gets crazy to organize my schedule and remember, but it’s been teaching moment.

How?

Well, it’s funny how sometimes you find things. At my jobs, I’ve become selfless. I love them because it’s about others, and not me. A former Sports Illustrated writer once told me, ‘make interviews seem like conversations.’ It’s true. I’ve become a better listener. I ask the questions, and let others share how hard work has paid off in their lives. Recognizing other people’s talents and skills is rewarding.

Below is some of the ‘advice,’ young male and female high school athletes have told me:

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– Work hard and have a positive attitude. – I love what I do, and being part of a team. – Accept your role and talents – Stick with your passion; be a gym rat. Be coachable, and a sponge for knowledge. Be happy and be fun to be around. Make people say they miss being around you when they’re with you. – There will be slumps, and tough times in your life, but remember how you got there. – If your dream is worth pursuing, then stick with it. – Sometimes you have to figure things out on your own. If you truly want it, be prepared for a lot of work, and it takes a luck, too. – Be humble, and happy for those around you. -Have no fear in taking shots at the world, and don’t be afraid to miss. Have the mindset to do anything. – Enjoy your work. Love the game. Don’t complain, fight or argue when things don’t go your way. – Become close to people you love. – Communicate with your team. Don’t be afraid to get in the game. Make people better around you by being involved in their lives. – Let your faith as important as your game. – It doesn’t matter what other people are saying about you as long as you accept yourself as part of the team and that will eventually lead to other people accepting me. – 

 

See, people have cool stuff to share.  All it takes is to stop and listen.

I’ve recognized athletes of the week, wrote about a girl who played varsity football, told story of a family bonding over a ball cap they are bringing to Cooperstown, and talked to a father who played in the New York Yankees farm system, and raised a family at the same time. Then, I’ve went to a million games (probably an exaggeration). I covered three state championship games, AA girls volleyball, AA girls basketball and B boys basketball. I watched the best athletes compete and get rewarded by cutting down the nets. I talked to them after games, all talk about the team. One gave the glory to God.

My point – I think it’s simple. The greatest commandment is to love God, and to love others. I feel like my job allows me to do both. I’ve volunteered at the Ransom Church for a year now in the tech booth, and get to use my talents to allow people to worship freely. God’s given me my passion for media. He’s given me a chance to serve him in the church, and outside of it by telling other’s stories.

I may not know what my future holds for me on a full-time basis, but I will keep applying, and as it says in James 1:12, ‘God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.’

I don’t have any problem starting at the bottom (this isn’t about Drake’s song), and working odd, long hours. I like to listen to people’s stories, catch with friends I see, and meet everyone new on the job. I don’t mind getting home at 3 a.m. from Aberdeen, or traveling to small town South Dakota to shoot a high school football, basketball, volleyball, or baseball game. If you work hard, life is rewarding.

Want proof?

A high school athlete wrote me a letter, ‘Sam, thank you to ESPN and yourself for naming me athlete of the week. It is a great honor. Also, thank you for writing an amazing write-up about myself. I couldn’t have asked for a better story. Thank you so much again, and have a great rest of the year and a blessed Easter.’

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Or just last weekend, a man at a baseball game in Mitchell asked me if I could send him my highlights so he could watch the game with his son (on the team) and his dad, who is terminally ill.

That’s so cool, and it takes time to get noticed. I’ve learned to trust in God with all of my soul, and to glorify him in all I do. The road traveled isn’t easy, but it can be accomplished. All it takes is a little faith, even if it’s as small as a mustard seed to start. Faith can move mountains, and use your platform as an opportunity to have great joy.

Thanks for reading, friends. I love you.

sam

 

 

 

 

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