Rough House has just launched an innovative new training package aimed specifically at helping sportsmen and women handle the media. For our In the Zone course we have assembled an unbeatable team of TV presenters, reporters and commentators who have between them covered hundreds of Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and other sporting events.
Here he gives the inside track on what it’s like to face journalists in the ‘Mixed Zone’, where interviews take place directly after an event.
Imagine you are a world class athlete finishing a 1500 metre final in the Olympic Games and have just failed miserably.
You’d probably want to creep away and forget the whole experience for at least a few hours, until you can get to your mobile phone for a comforting word from a coach, mother, girlfriend, lover.
But that’s not an option. While you’re still out of breath, emotional from the experience and feeling less than cooperative you have to walk the plank through the dreaded “Mixed Zone” to retrieve your kit and emotional crutch, the telephone!
The questions come raining in from every angle from the written press as well as TV cameras and microphones. Your mind goes blank. You thought the race was a pressure situation but this is ridiculous. You just want to be anywhere but here. It has not been a good day at the office.
Sometimes circumstances beyond your control affect your performance. But the truly great champions train to leave nothing to chance, and they anticipate what may happen, come success or failure after the event. The interviews, press conferences, photo opportunities etc. They train for all these too.
Whether you are an international sportsman or woman, in business or in a high profile job, training for these media situations is paramount in order to put your story across in an accurate and concise way. And to make sure you stay out of trouble!