Want to hear some tips on how I landed a press pass at Jets Training Camp?
#1: Work your way up to the Press Pass. When you’re young and you don’t have a professional job yet, you have to do a couple stories before the “big guys” come to town. For instance, I went out to SUNY Cortland before Training camp started, and got interviews with some of the SUNY Cortland behind the scenes people who have the closest access to the Jets staff. That way, when the Jets’ crew rolls into town for training camp you are already one step ahead of the game.
#2: Write thank you notes. If someone is nice enough to say yes to you for an interview, make sure you write a thank you note to that person because they did not have to say yes in the first place. I was lucky enough to get an interview with Fred Pierce, Public Relations Director at SUNY Cortland, Dan Dryja, Manager of Athletic Fields at SUNY Cortland, and Matt Henn, Grounds Manager for the New York Jets. By saying thank you, it shows you are glad you got to know them and care about what they do, and it’s always nice to just get to know new people.
#3: When you finally get the Press Pass, DON’T FREAK OUT. Your main goal when doing a story or event like this is to be on the sidelines next to reporters from ESPN and other national networks. So once you’re down on the field, stay calm and don’t freak out, because I might have just a little bit. I texted my mom and asked her what the most important thing to get was and she replied with one word, “Tebow.” That is exactly what I focused on, the fan favorite. Even though you may be nervous out on the inside, stay tough on the outside, and focus on getting the footage you need, and stay till the end. You will be thankful you stuck it out. I know I was. Your best footage may come at the end of practice, like when all of a sudden, all the players, like Tebow, are standing right next to you signing autographs!
Five months ago I was just thinking of an idea for a sports blog for some extra practice before college, and started talking to people about Jets Training Camp. I never thought I would be standing side by side with ESPN reporters and Tim Tebow on the same field. He was amazing to watch, especially with the fans. I remember he took extra time with a red headed boy in a wheelchair, which brought a smile to my face. Getting that Press Pass really made me feel like Fred Pierce from SUNY Cortland trusted me, and I just might make it someday.
Jordan Rice is a Senior in High School in upstate New York. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a member of Cortland County Youth Leadership, Co-Captain of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad, part of the Rotary Youth Leadership, a member of drama club where she acts in school plays, and treasurer of French club.
She is Editor of her school’s district newspaper The Lion's Roar sent to 1,900 readers. Jordan has been published in 2011 and 2012 in the Syracuse Post Standard for Student Voices. Some School Video News blogs include stories with the New York Giants, Orange County Choppers, Ironman 70.3, and Courtside to Get the Shot at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Jordan hopes to attend college to pursue a career in sports journalism.