Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tips: How to take notes

(This is part of my series of tips for aspiring football writers out there who want to start their own blogs, or even, aspire to become a sportswriter.  Don't be afraid, this is how I started.  I don't have a mass com or even journalism degree.  My only journalistic training were the ones I had in elementary and high school)

IF you want to write a match report, you have to have the data needed to write one.  And there are two things you can get the data, by interviewing (if you didn’t get to watch the game) or by note taking.

How do you take notes? Each writer has a different style and it’s a matter of using what works for you.  The simplest way is to divide your notebook into two columns, and put the names of both squads in the header.  

You also have to synchronize your watch with the ref’s whistle (never rely on the stadium clock, as there could be none, it could conk out and your watch stays at the same place every time, looking at it becomes an instinct, while clocks don’t have the same location in each stadium).

Footie notes are all about minutes, don’t mind the seconds, and always round off to the next minute so 21:10, 21:22 or 21:59 is the 23rd minute.  

What should you take down?  Anything relevant, not just the goals and you don’t have to describe everything in detail. A brilliant give and go from two players that resulted to an attempt that went wide in the 29th could simply be—29th, Phil shoots wide from give and go or 49—Araneta score but offside.

Here's a sample of a page of my notes for the Mongolia game in Panaad:

When you jot things like these down, these will greatly help add detail to your story as the game might end in a 0-0 draw.  But if there are a lot of goals, to highlight the notes that you took of the goal, and to differentiate them from the attempts, you could encircle the minute or box.  Anything that will work.

Note taking will also help you improve your writing as it forces you to quickly think of a description, while watching the game.  As for the player’s names, if you know them, just use the first name or initials, say, 68th—JYH yellow complain. But if you don’t, jot down the number—68th—8 scores from left.  You can get his name after the game.

Now if you didn’t get to watch the match, just call the coach, or better, the referee and get the following details---scores, scorers, minutes. Sometimes, refs have good memories and can recall how the goal was scored.

Another point for note-taking, I’ve noticed in some of the matches lately, not all the guys in the media section take notes and I’ve noticed, these are the same guys whose articles/reports rankle fans because of wrong info.  

1 comment:

Wiking said...

I always mess up on this one: Always get yellow/red card info and why(especially for the red).