The typical writer must obtain the minimum of a bachelor's degree, usually in journalism. They often gain experience writing for their college newspaper or participating in internships. Many writers are former players who were not recruited for a collegiate sporting career, but developed an aptitude for writing.
In addition to a degree and practical experience, writers must be experts on football, basketball, hockey and other games. They must know not only the rules of the game, but must also understand its history and have an intense knowledge of all key players, coaches and teams. Moreover, they must have a passion for athletics and a desire to provide fans with accurate and entertaining news.
Other skills important to the field of athletic journalism include strong interpersonal and networking abilities, an aptitude for spotting news as it occurs and the ability to write creatively while captivating an audience. Writers must also possess a strong sense of self-confidence and determination in order to endure the long hours and irregular work environment inherent in this field.