Big Bash League players are used to the lime light. From commentating matches from the field, to social media, the need for players to be media savvy is greater than ever.
As part of a Cricket NSW initiative, Sixers speedster Trent Copeland recently completed six modules of his Certificate IV in Screen and Media, with a view towards life beyond the boundary.
Held over three workshops, the course is designed to teach participants about building their brand through the media. Skills taught include how to write and read auto-cue in a studio, how to develop a show reel, preparation and delivery of a sports program for radio and building your social media brand.
For Trent, the opportunity to learn how to podcast settled his long held intrigue on the topic. Far beyond just recording audio, the course helped highlight the level of detail that goes into producing high quality finished product.
"Learning how to do a professional podcast with voice over, editing sound, and 'ums' and 'ahs' that aren't meant to be there just makes the whole thing really well done," said Copeland.
"They are little things you wouldn't really think about, so it has been great just to have us learn a bit of an insight, get into an actual recording studio, looking at levels and just all the stuff that the naked eye doesn't see when you're looking at a polished performance."
Well known for his chops in fantasy sport, Copeland recorded a draft podcast with Cricket NSW teammates Ben Rohrer and Josh Lalor which could've just been any one of their lunchtime conversations.
"The three of us did a podcast talking about fantasy sports, as we do most times we're at the café every day. The chance to anchor a radio show or a podcast scenario was really fun, something that I've always thought about as a potential career after cricket, whether that is on TV or radio.
"It was really fun learning what it takes to do that. It is not just talking; you've got to be overly exuberant. That might seem silly when you're in a scenario sitting there looking at a brick wall, but what you have to remember is that the people listening have to feel like you're energised and that you're telling them something which is worth listening to."
While he hopes it is a while off, the opportunity to work in the media in some capacity is something Copeland has long considered post Cricket. He'll get even closer to this aspiration this week while undertaking an internship with Fox Sports as a part of the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) Beyond the Boundary program.
The program allows participants to undertake a professional internship at a wide range of employers, with all associated costs to the employer to be funded by the ACA. In doing so, it incentivises businesses to help provide further professional development to Cricketers, and goes a long way in ensuring athletes continue to develop as people both on and off the field, whilst preparing for life post playing career.
During his internship, Copes will be learning a wide variety of skills, adding to those already picked up as a part of the Certificate IV in Media Training.
"I'll be learning about what it takes to read auto-cue, produce little segments in terms of getting a video to the right spot, and also learn about doing research behind each story.
"Doing media, I don't get flustered talking in front of people, whether it is on a camera or in public, so I think through my sporting experiences and networking, and just generally watching most sports, I think there is definitely an avenue for me to pursue.
A hallmark of last season's successful BBL season was the outstanding commentary from Channel 10 anchors Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh, Damien Fleming, Adam Gilchrist and Sir Viv Richards. Their on-air chemistry was a big reason behind the record television ratings, believes Copeland, and the opportunity to join them one day is certainly one he wouldn't turn down.
On picking his favourite commentator, Copes has no hesitation in naming friend, fellow quick and linguist extraordinaire Damien Fleming.
"It's hard to go past Flem with his 'avenue of apprehension' and all that kind of rubbish that he goes on about. He is just a good laugh whenever you listen to the cricket, but also has the knowledge to know each player, and what they're about. He can get on their level.
Asked whether he has anything to add to Flem's famous vocabulary, he is hard pressed admitting that while the new Melbourne Stars' selector's lingo is drivel, he probably couldn't top it.
"Flem is in one of our fantasy Super Coach competitions for AFL, so I sledge him about these things all the time. He is the brains behind it all I am certainly just sitting back and watching, so no I've got nothing for him."
The course was funded by the NSW Education and Communities Smart and Skilled program and run in partnership with Tafe NSW - Sydney Institute.
Article via Sydney Sixers