Women’s History Month: FOX Sports NEXT, USC Beat Reporter Lindsey Thiry
Added by Gregg Snyder on March 15, 2013.
Everyday this month, Double G Sports will be featuring interviews from prominent women in the sports industry as our way of celebrating Women’s History Month. This project is in its 2nd year. Today we feature Fox Sports and Scout.com Reporter, Lindsey Thiry.
First interview subject (reverse interview!) as an intern for Fox Sports Northwests, Lindsey's childhood idol, Ken Griffey Jr
1. Growing up as a child, who had the biggest influence on your interest in sports?
My entire family influenced my interest in sports. I grew up the youngest child in a family of three. My dad coached my older brother’s baseball team for many years and my oldest sister always played softball. Being the little sister I always had to go with my parents to their games. Naturally I became involved in sports myself and found that they came easy to me because I had spent so much time watching “the big kids” play. My sister eventually earned a scholarship to play softball at Stanford. Watching her work so hard to achieve her goal inspired me to put my mind toward accomplishing something great, too. She really demonstrated hard work and dedication which greatly influenced how I approached athletics.
2. You became a top athlete and were a member of the NCAA National Championship Women’s Volleyball team at University of Washington. At what age did you realize maybe you were athletically gifted?
I don’t think there was ever a moment when I stopped to think I was perhaps athletically gifted. Growing up, sports always came a bit easier to me than most other girls my age — and I really just think it is because I spent so much time watching when I was young. I think I realized I had a legitimate shot at playing collegiate volleyball when I was 17 years old. I made an 18-under team, “KJVBC” — a volleyball club that was known to produce some very good players out of the greater Seattle area, including a few who I always looked up to. When I made the team and was able to play alongside girls I admired, it was an exciting moment… but like I said, never thought to myself that I was athletically gifted — only that I needed to work really, really hard to keep up.
Even as a young girl, sports were always a big part of Lindsey's life.
3. How important would you say sports were to you growing up and even into high school and college?
Sports were incredibly important to me growing up. From the seventh grade forward, every weekend I can remember was spent either at a volleyball tournament, camp, or finding a match to watch on television. Prior to that, I swam competitively for seven years and played softball. When I wasn’t at my own games — like I mentioned — I was at my brother’s or sister’s. Because of sports I was able to learn so much about discipline, hard work, and priorities.
4. When did you realize a career in sports media was a direction you wanted to take?
When I was young watching the Olympics with my family the realization struck me that I wanted to one day tell sports stories. I must have been around ten years old — Bob Costas, Robin Roberts, Hannah Storm — they all hosted human-interest sports stories sitting on the fireside set. I just remembered the fascination I had with the athletes stories and the way they were told.
I didn’t actually take action to move in the direction to make this career dream a reality until my senior year of college, when I applied for an internship at Fox Sports Northwest. It was during my six months interning there that I realized this dream was something I most certainly wanted to make reality.
5. Moving from the field/court to the sidelines, do you miss the competition side of sports?
Absolutely! There is nothing like the competition that takes place from a players perspective on a field or court. However, I’ve found new ways to channel that competitive spirit into my career. I learned on the volleyball team at Washington to not look sideways — that your biggest competition is really yourself. Everyday I challenge myself to find something to improve on — for now that calms the competitive edge during work hours.
6. You previously worked with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL and are now a beat reporter for Fox Sports and Scout.com covering mostly USC. How much different is it dealing with high school and college athletes as opposed to professionals?
It’s much different. Professional athletes, in my experience, tend to give more media savvy — or “canned” answers, if you will. College and especially high school athletes tend to give you either their string of conscious thoughts or spend so much time trying to craft an answer that really nothing gets said. I’ve been very fortunate in most of my experiences — athletes from the NFL to high school have all been generous with their time and share a common love for the sport they play.
Lindsey was a member of the National Champion University of Washington Volleyball Team.
7. Last month you covered National Signing Day for the first time. Tell us about that experience?
It was wild! Covering recruiting for nearly the last year has definitely been a different experience. Just when you think you have it figured out where guys are going to sign National Letters of Intent, they change their mind. The 48 hours leading up to Signing Day were some of the most exciting, but also some of the most stressful. On Feb. 5 I couldn’t fall asleep because I was so anxious for guys to start announcing their commitments at 4:30 AM PT — it was a bigger rush than Christmas morning.
8. Being a woman working in sports, have you found it difficult gaining the respect of young athletes?
No, not at all. I think when it comes to young athletes today, they’ve grown up watching a handful of different females on television and reading their work on the internet. I’ve never encountered a young athlete who has treated me in a disrespectful manner because I’m a female.
9. Are there any particular woman you look to as role models in your career?
Absolutely. Like I said, I’ve watched Robin Roberts and Hannah Storm since I was young — so I’ve always looked up to them. My family didn’t get cable until I was in the eighth grade, so I didn’t spend any time watching cable sports programming until my high school years. When I interned at Fox Sports Northwest, one of the producers told me stories about ESPN’s Linda Cohn when she was in Seattle. I began watching her work closely and read her autobiography, it’s amazing the hard work she put in to allow for her career to take off.
Along the way, there have certainly been other women who I’ve received guidance and help from — many of whom I’ve never even met in person but have been able to correspond with via email. It’s awesome how many women are willing to help other young journalists and broadcasters get their career started and provide insight.
10. Are you now in what you would call a dream job or do you have other goals you would like to achieve?
I’d say it’s safe to call it a dream job. I go to sporting events and actually get paid to be there! There are certainly career goals I have in mind that I’d still like to accomplish — but part of the goal is to enjoy every step and opportunity along the way. I always keep my goals in mind, but really try not to spend much time thinking about “the dream job” …
11. What advice would you give to women interested in entering sports media?
If you are interested in it and what to pursue it — go for it! And remember, everyone has to start somewhere. Whether your first job is in Great Falls, Montana (Mine was!) or at Fox Sports. It’s a tough road to make it in this industry and a lot of sacrifices have to be made in order to find success — but if you love it enough those sacrifices will pale in comparison to your long-term goals and the great feeling of accomplishment and success. Also — be willing to learn everything. Media outlets these days are looking for people who want to shoot video, tweet, blog, broadcast, and podcast. Don’t limit yourself!
Lindsey Thiry playing volleyball.