It’s nights like tonight when I love my job.
The life of an SID (sports information director) can be overwhelming, busy and stressful, like any job, I’m sure. But it’s nothing like your typical 9-5 job. You live and breathe your sports. You know the ins and outs of the roster, the schedule, the conference, the opponents. You are always on call and should always be available for your coaches or players if needed. You work your full day in the office and then work the games at night and on weekends. Then when the game is over, it’s almost as if the bulk of your job is kicking into gear – from there you have to analyze the stats, determine the most important plays, statistics, moments, performances of the game, write a recap, publish photos, stats, graphics, social media posts, etc. Then, just a few hours of sleep later, you wake up and do it all again.
There’s very little time for a social life. Work is your life. But at this moment, I am so happy that this is how I get to spend my days and my life for right now.
Tonight I was reminded why I love the stress and chaos of this job. I’m the main media contact for Southern Illinois University’s volleyball team, and tonight the Salukis topped No. 22 Missouri State, the previously undefeated leader of the Missouri Valley Conference. It was a huge victory for SIU and culminated a three-match home stand in which my coworkers and I worked countless hours, got very little sleep and were honestly just ready to get through this final match.
Tonight’s match was exactly what you’d want to see. High intensity, back and forth scoring, significant point runs on either side of the net, career and season highs for several athletes. It was an all around quality match.
One aspect of being an SID, which can be difficult on nights like tonight, is not letting the inner fan, sports lover come out. SIDs are supposed to be professional and objective. But tonight it was hard to contain myself – in the final points of the match I was literally covering my mouth when I wasn’t inputting stats so that I wouldn’t yell with excitement. It was contagious. The energy on the court was palpable from my spot up at the scorers table.
When that final kill was hit and SIU won the fifth set, 15-8, that’s when it hit me. How lucky am I that my job is to share in the hard work, dedication, sometimes excitement, sometimes disappointment and everlasting passion that comes with sports? How lucky am I that I get to witness momentum shifting moments, defining wins and breakout performances and tell the world (or whoever reads my recaps) about them? How lucky am I that I get to not only see the hard work of the teams come to fruition, but that I get to see the hours and hours that my coworkers and I put in turn into a successful event?
It can be so easy to complain about being tired, not having free time, being frustrated by coaches, or just feeling overwhelmed. But moments like tonight, where I get to be a part of a great win for my team and for my coworkers make it all worth it.
“The glory of sport comes from dedication, determination and desire. Achieving success and personal glory in athletics has less to do with wins and losses than it does with learning how to prepare yourself so that at the end of the day, whether on the track or in the office, you know that there was nothing more you could have done to reach your ultimate goal.”
– Jackie Joyner-Kersee