Workin’ and Playin’ on Spring Break


The University of Florida’s college of journalism and communications provided me the opportunity to report and cover the MLB Grapefruit League spring training over spring break. I was stationed in Naples, Florida with my friend Lauren Halpern and we experienced a week of baseball, food and sun. We attended games in Fort Myers at the Boston Red Sox JetBlue Park and the Minnesota Twins Hammond Stadium.

This experience taught me that there is always a story, you just have to look. All it takes is a little conversation and effort. It’s sounds simple, but I had to really push myself to get the courage to go up to strangers in order to find that story. This experience was a confidence booster, in that I feel way more comfortable being able to talk to strangers and be a journalist.

Although, neither Lauren or I had credentials, we decided not to let that drag us down through the week. We struggled brainstorming and thinking of ideas for stories. But I didn’t let the lack of credentials stop me from trying to find a story. During the four games that I attended, I never got discouraged when people said no to being interviewed. I think that as a journalist, you can’t let that keep you down and you just have to move on to the next person. I sat in the lawn during an entire game at the Twins stadium. I sat and watched all these kids run up and reach their mitts up, hoping to catch a foul ball or flyball. The idea popped into my head to talk to these kids and see where that takes me. I talked to a handful of kids and it was so heartwarming to see them so excited about the sport and being there with their families. It turned out to be a great story, and let me focus on the little moments in life.

Overall, I’m proud of the attitude I had during the week. I did have a few plans for stories for the games, but once we got there, I didn’t let myself get stressed if I saw another opportunity for a better story. I am proud of the way I adapted to my surroundings and went with the flow of the game. I didn’t let myself get caught up in the details of my original plan and kept myself open to other story ideas, like the lawn kids. But, I am glad that I did have a gameplan. I think that assignment helped prepare me for the week and research anything I might need to know ahead of spring training.

The biggest lesson I learned from this opportunity is to always keep an open mind to opportunities and people. If an idea comes into your head, explore it, you never know what it could turn out to be. If there’s an opportunity that knocks at your door, open it and you never know what it could teach you and where it could lead you. This experience taught me more about myself than anything else. It taught me that I am capable of working in this industry and that I can work in this fast-moving field. It was a spring break that I would never have experienced and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do so.

For future students thinking about this experience, my advice is to just do it. Why not! You never know what it will bring you. My advice is to, first and foremost, have fun, because this industry should be something you love to do!

About Bryce Mitchell

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