Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Always room to improve on deadline

Deadline writing is hard.

For the 26th class of SJI, that fact is no secret. We’ve turned in seven game stories over the course of the week, culminating with Thursday’s hectic Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The closer and more competitive the games got, the more difficult writing them became. By the end of the week, it was discouraging to have to lay in bed and still wonder, “Why in the world do I suck at this?”

Friday morning’s session with former New York Times sports reporter and current IUPUI Sports Capital Journalism Program director Malcolm Moran helped me come to a realization.

If at times this work feels hard, it’s because it is.

“Stuff is going to happen, no matter how much you’re prepared beforehand,” Moran said. “There are always going to be setbacks and obstacles.”

According to Moran, the keys to overcoming the setbacks are preparation and the right mindset, one that embodies curiosity rather than fear.

A perfectionist by nature, I’ve always been extremely hard on myself. I seek out advice and criticism to consistently improve over time.

But some things will happen that are beyond my control. Mistakes, unfortunately, are bound to happen. As long as I continue to strive for excellence, it’s important to remember that it isn’t the end of the world. That I will always have room to improve.

-Alla Abdeldaiem