Saturday, November 10, 2007

Field Hockey: PSU vs Virginia

After the Maryland field hockey team won there was about an hour and a half period if inactivity before the next game started. This gave the officials time to water down the field, and it gave me time to post-process my pictures and work on my article.

I debated going home, but packing everything up just to go home and then come back in an hour seemed impractical. Instead I stayed in the media tent and worked on my post-processing. Coach Missy Meharg did a post-game press conference in the field hockey complex, and there were 2 other reporters present.

One guy was from the Diamondback and the other gentleman was from the Terrapin Times. Both had microphones and asked several questions. Coach Meharg looked over towards me at the end and asked if I had any questions. I didn't... I don't have any intelligent comments to make or questions to ask so I just thanked her for her time and wished her good luck in the off season.

I mostly attend the post-game press conferences to grab sound bites and to post-process my pictures. I'm currently a writer out-of-necessity rather than desire, meaning that I write in order to get my photos published. If another writer was present to cover a game they would do a 1000x better job than me. There's a skill to writing that takes years to develop, and I'm pretty darn sure I ain't got it!

On the other hand, writing has grown on me since I started working with Al at the DC Sports Box. Originally I despised it, and I believe asking Al to only send me to events where a writer was present. It seems kind of unlikely that I would make a request like that, but it was definitely my disposition.

As I'm shooting more I'm finding that the writing gets you in touch with the team. Captioning was my first entry into the writing world, and it came as a natural extension of shooting. In order to caption you have to know the players and their story. Captioning a photo with: "#22 Sarah Scholl scores her 4th penalty corner in 5 games" is much more compelling and interesting than "#22 Sarah Scholl waits for the inbound pass on a penalty corner."

In order to caption you have to learn the team, and the story behind the players. It's actually pretty interesting to learn those things, and once you know them you can talk about them in your articles. I now understand why reporters have "beats" rather than being floated around to random teams: they get to know their teams! It all seems so intuitive on the surface, but when you actually experience the connection to a team while taking photos, captioning, or writing it's actually quite exhilarating and unexpected.

So I stuck around after the Maryland press conference and shot the PSU vs Virginia game. While I was shooting it Coach Meharg scouted the teams. Tomorrow she'll play the winner of this match up, and when that happens I'm sure she'll want to know as much as she can about the opposing team.

It was fun shooting while Coach Meharg and her staff were on the sidelines. They are understandably busy coaching during the game, but during this particular match they were talking and remarking on the play of the two teams. It was enjoyable from an out-of-the-norm perspective, but it was also fun to hear her comments on the other teams. It was educational to hear what she observed while watching the teams.

I didn't write an article for the DC Sports Box, and I only stuck around for the first half. During the second half I went heads down in the press conference room to kick out my Maryland Field Hockey article and post it online. I also wrapped up my post processing for the game photos. I wanted to get those wrapped up and published early because after the 2nd field hockey game I wanted to head home and prepare for Football.

During the Virginia vs PSU game I chatted briefly with Sandy from the coaching staff. She's an athletic trainer who has been with Maryland for as long as I can remember. She's a very personable coach and she often takes photos on the sidelines of the team. She asked if I was attending tomorrow's game and I said I was. I also shared with her the photos I took during the Maryland game.

It was unusual taking photos of two non-Maryland teams playing on a Maryland field. I guess I'll have to get used to that though if the DC Sports Box gets credentials to the NCAA Championships next weekend and Maryland is out of contention.


Post a Comment