Jamie Little completes her first year in her historic role as the first woman to call play-by-play for a nationally televised motor sports series when she joins teammate Phil Parsons, guest analyst Trevor Bayne and reporter Kate Osborne for the ARCA Menards Series race from Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday, Sept. 16 (6:30 PM ET on FS1/FOX Sports app). Little reflects on her experience below:
FOX SPORTS: What is the biggest lesson you learned in the play-by-play position this year?
LITTLE: “It's less about reporting than it is calling what you are seeing on the track. Going into this role I wasn't sure what the balance of reporting would be, since that's all I've really known. I learned to lean on Phil and the guest analyst to fill in the color. Also, finding the right balance of the technical part of being the lead announcer versus calling the action ‘naturally’ isn't easy. It certainly becomes more comfortable with more reps. It's a fun job, and when you have a great race to call, it doesn't get any better.”
FOX SPORTS: How did your previous television work prepare you for this role?
LITTLE: “It helped in all ways. Being a broadcaster is just as much about your confidence and your delivery on air as it is about what you are saying. Knowing how to listen and execute what the producer envisions is important. Also, knowing what tools you need and how to use them is something that really takes years to learn. Knowing what stats, storylines and the big picture is key to success. I know how to do live TV and I thrive on it. I just had to learn how to plug in a new skill set. Being comfortable with my ability to do the job and knowing racing absolutely set me up for this job.”
FOX SPORTS: What did you feel was your strong point as the season went along? Why?
LITTLE: “My strong point has always been my preparedness. I had to learn and adapt my way of note taking for this role and I think it helped me on air. I had to put aside a lot of my ‘reports’ and just make the conversation more fluid and natural with Phil and the guest analyst. Having a good understanding of who these drivers are and what makes the ARCA series different was important to convey and that was something I worked hard on before each race, by interviewing drivers and communicating with the ARCA officials.”
FOX SPORTS: After your first-season experience, what do you want to get better at in this role moving forward?
LITTLE: “Getting to a place that the broadcast is seamless. Eliminating those ‘learning curve’ moments and having more commanding, seamless shows would be a great place to be. That will come. I'd love to do an entire series where I have races more consistently. It's just like a driver, the more seat time, the better.”
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