Inspiration July 24, 2017
Behind the Scenes With Dodgers Reporter and Sportsnet Host Kelli Tennant
For Kelli Tennant, sports have always been a main focus in her life.
She’s a former volleyball player for the University of Southern California, author of “The Transition: Every Athlete’s Guide to Life After Sports” and a television host and reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA. She covers the Dodgers, Galaxy, Lakers and Sparks.
And the athlete and sports broadcasting badass graciously agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions for ENTITY.
Entity: Did you always want to go into sports broadcasting?
KT: I wanted to be on television starting in sixth grade, but I never knew it would be in sports.
Entity: How did you get your start in sports broadcasting?
KT: I worked for my school (USC) covering all sports, including my own team. I hosted and reported for all of the online content, and had internships every semester of college.
Entity: What qualities did you look for in internships?
KT: On-camera opportunities. I wanted hands-on experience and a chance to network in LA. Getting coffee wasn’t going to help me become better with a microphone in my hand. I shadowed as many people as possible and was willing to do whatever the producers asked. That allowed me more on-camera opportunities at red carpets, movie junkets and events.
Entity: Can you describe your typical workday?
Kelli Tennant: Every day is different because I cover the Dodgers, Galaxy, Lakers and Sparks. And with each team I have a different role, but a typical day for Dodgers is:
2 p.m.: Makeup at the stadium
3:15 p.m.: Clubhouse opens — I do three to four interviews with the players on our topic of the day. Shortly after, I have a one-on-one interview with a player — these range two to five minutes covering a variety of topics.
4:15 p.m.: Manager scrum — The media talks to the manager for about 10 minutes about the news of the day.
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.: We are on the air. I spend all of the time I have before this prepping for our show. Our producers send me a run down of what we will cover, but I have to navigate with questions for our analysts and the guest we have on the set.
7 p.m.: The game starts and I do a hit at the beginning of the game, and a few throughout the game covering topics of the day or cool stories I have found.
10:30 p.m.: After the game ends, I interview a player on the field and then the manager. Then I head to the clubhouse for three to five more interviews for the post-game show.
Entity: What do you find the most challenging about your job?
KT: I have to manage a lot of personalities and relationships with everyone. In order to get good interviews and access, creating a good reputation for yourself and good relationships with everyone is key. It definitely takes time and a lot of conscious effort.
Entity: What do you find the most enjoyable?
KT: I really enjoy telling people’s stories. Understanding why they do what they do, or what truly makes them successful or special, that gets me really excited.
Entity: If you could interview anyone, who would it be?
KT: Oprah. Because, Oprah.
Entity: What advice do you have for young women wanting to join the sports broadcasting field?
KT: Get as much experience as possible and set yourself apart. Get a great reel together that showcases your best stuff, and always be yourself.
photo via @kellimtennant / Instagram
Kelli is a true inspiration for young women who want to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. She inspires people to live their lives authentically. Kelli Tennant truly is a #womanthatdoes.