A B deVilliers media skills an example to other sportspeople

25 March 2015

The media skills shown by South African Captain A B deVilliers after last night’s loss should act as a great example to other sportspeople.

Firstly, he was clearly devastated by the last over loss, but still acted with grace and sportsmanship. The last thing he would have wanted was talk to media and sit through a lengthy press conference. But that’s exactly what he did. At one stage he was the only South African on the field. His team mates couldn’t handle it.

He also did something lots of sportspeople fail to do. He showed his emotions. For example, at one point he said: “It’s difficult to say what sort of emotions I’m feeling, but it’s painful.” That’s what people want to hear. They don’t want the stiff upper lip, expressionless face and some quick cliché like: “All credit to the Blackcaps.”

He was a credit to his team and country. He didn’t offer excuses, but instead congratulated the Blackcaps on their victory. Everyone who saw the game and saw him afterwards will have huge respect for him and his team.

This raises another interesting point about the media skills of sportspeople. Those that are good in the media help grow the interest and profile of their game. This is why their associations should put time into grooming them for media attention.

The other side of this is the value it creates for the players themselves when they retire. If they come across well, it opens up major opportunities for them post-career. This may be in the media, coaching, or another field they have an interest in. Some make the most of this, while others let the opportunity slip away. A B deVilliers will be in high demand when he retires. That’s because he is not only a world class cricketer, but an excellent communicator and all-round good bloke.

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Filed under Media Training

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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