BBC Sport and TNT Sport football journalist and commentator Vicki Sparks has given UCFB students her tops five tips to be a football commentator.

Vicki, who was the first female commentator to cover a live Men’s World Cup match on British television in 2018, visited our Wembley Campus as a guest speaker.

During her time there, she went through some of her top tips for football commentary.

Here are her top five:

1. Do your prep

“This is so important. You never know what sort of narrative or story should develop at the match you’re covering.

“What research can you do to prepare yourself for the twists and turns that might be taken?”

2. The difference between TV and radio commentary

“For TV, it’s all about what you can add as a commentator to enhance the pictures that the viewers are already seeing.

“Radio is all about clear description. Where is the ball? Who has it? How likely are a particular team to score? It’s all about adding colour to help the listener imagine this game.”

3. Overall context and narrative

“Is this a match at the start of the season or a final, a relegation battle? All of this will inform that wider narrative and how you big it up to the audience.”

4. Relationship with your summariser

“This starts before you even get on air. Get in touch with your summariser, give them a call, see how their week’s been going or how they’re feeling towards the game.

“It all helps build that relationship before you sit down and enjoy 90 minutes of football together in conversation.”

5. Enjoy it

“What a privilege it is to watch a football match and describe that to a viewer or a listener.

“We’re all in this industry because we love the game. Allow that love, enjoyment and passion to shine through when you do your commentary.”

UCFB offers a wide range of sports media-related undergraduate degree programmes, from BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism to BA (Hons) Football Business and Media.

To find out more about the degrees on offer at UCFB, click here.

Alternatively, kick off your career by viewing a UCFB prospectus here.