Lindsay McCormick is a sports broadcaster whose career has taken her from hosting the live events for Super Bowl XLIX to guest corresponding for Showtime at the most anticipated fight of the decade – Mayweather vs Pacquiao. When it comes to staying active and creative, Lindsay has it taken care of, most recently being the NFL Social Host for Sunday Night Football on NBC, live stage host for the Super Bowl and sideline reporter for the quarterfinals of ESPN’s The Basketball Tournament. And now she sits down with Youth1 Media for her Y1 on 1 interview:
What have you learned from sports that has helped you most in life?
I don’t think you ever stop learning lessons from sports. I took up golf a few years ago, and every time I head out to that driving range I’m reminded that if I put the time and effort in I can see progress… as in anything in life. Sports teach us discipline. In my profession, I’ve been fortunate to sit down and chat with some of the greatest athletes to ever play their particular sport. Hearing their inspirational stories and what they had to overcome, would make anyone want to go home and practice their craft. Through the team sports, such a competitive cheerleading, I learned if one person is off that stunt is going to come tumbling down. I was the girl on top, so I always made sure to encourage everyone around me and took a leadership role in knowing everyone else’s role to make me even better at my own. Just like a quarterback memorizing his weapons’ assignments to make him even better at his own job and able to go through his quarterback progression even faster under pressure. I know for a fact Peyton Manning knows everyone on that football field’s assignment.
Dancing is as athletic as any sport and you mentioned you were heavily involved in dance in your youth and beyond that. Who helped guide you along that path or served as a mentor?
My mom was a dancer herself and put me in dance class before the age of 3. I loved how she always said to me that I could quit at any time and never forced it on me. Because of that I always felt like it was my own decision to be in every class and I worked extra hard and loved every second of it. For me dance is more than a sport. It’s a form of artistic expression and a release from life. The point of dance is to create lines and shapes that make other people feel a certain way when they watch you. Miss Paula was my dance teacher and the biggest influence for me for most of my childhood dance career. She taught me everything I know, especially from a technique standpoint. Now living in LA, I get to work with tremendous choreographers like Steve Ewing who give me great life advice during class as well.
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What is the greatest moment(s) in your sports/dance journey and what do you recall most about it?
Winning competitions is always fun. But for me, it’s more about the experience other people get from watching you dance. My greatest moment is anytime I have ever performed and someone has come up to me and said, “I really felt something from watching that.” That’s the way I feel every time I’m on the sidelines watching these athletes. They may not realize they are having an impact on me or other people around them, but their work ethic and dedication to each snap and each play does rub off.
Whether it be good or bad, share a pivotal memory from your time as a youth athlete and dancer.
When I was finally able to connect my dance training to broadcasting, thanks to Vocal Coach Arthur Joseph. After watching my first few broadcasts, he told me he knew exactly what was holding me back from reaching my potential…confidence. He asked me when I felt most confident in life, and I responded with three simple words: “When I dance.” He then had me get up and hit certain dance positions while I was reading from a broadcast script, emphasizing important words while at the same time hitting sharp lines and movements as I danced around the small office space. He showed me that you can take the confidence you get from one sport or area of your life and use it in your other passions. That advice was career changing for me.
You are heavily involved in sports on the media side now, would you advise youth athletes to play multiple sports or specialize and focus on only one? Why so?
When you are first getting into sports it’s important to try out everything and find your passion. Find which sports you are naturally gifted at and find the one that you look forward to working at every day. They might not be the same. In high school I tried pole vaulting. I couldn’t even get over the pole! [Laughs.] I realized from that experience that my strength was all in my legs (mainly from all of the dance training) and that maybe the high jump was better suited for me. We find our passions by trying and failing and learning from experiences.
What specific advice do you have for youth athletes, and what advice specifically for girls involved in athletics of any form?
Explore everything and find your passions. Don’t look at failing as a negative thing. It’s just getting you closer to figuring out what those passions are. Once you’ve figured it out, work harder than everyone you know. I’ve always had this mentality that if I’m not consistently working at my craft, then someone somewhere is getting ahead of me. While taking a break every now and then is important…you don’t hear that MJ, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams took too much time off. They worked at their craft every single day. It’s also important to have role models and inspiration. When I get burnt out on work (which everyone does at some point,) I look at Serena Williams and Suzy Kolber, or women like Ronda Rousey and think if they can accomplish all of their goals in male-dominated industries, why can’t I?!
Looking back, is there anything on your journey that you would have changed or done differently?
Honestly, no. You won’t hear too many people say this…but for me, the most fun part of life is aging and maturing. Looking back on your accomplishments and the hard times and seeing how everything fit together. If I had changed even the smallest thing, everything wouldn’t have lined up the way it did. If I had arrived on the sidelines for the Auburn vs LSU game even a second or two later, I might not have met the producer who connected me to my first job at ESPN. God’s timing is perfect.
Outside of sports, what are some of your other interests?
I love anything fitness and health related. The better care you put into your body, the better you perform at work and in sports. I love cooking and finding new healthy recipes. Whenever my friends want to catch up, I make them try a new unique workout with me. Whether it’s paddle boarding or aerial yoga, I like challenging myself. Plus, It’s better with a friend because you can encourage and laugh at each other the entire time.
Do you take part in any philanthropic endeavors or work with any charities that you would like to share with our readers?
There are two organizations that I’m obsessed with. #Hashtag Lunchbag meets to put together healthy lunches for anyone in the city who needs a meal, add a positive uplifting message in every bag and distribute them around town. I also love how easy this organization is to be a part of and how welcoming they are. You can check out this site for more info on how you can get involved: http://www.hashtaglunchbag.org/our-story
Also, Music Beats Hearts. Music has a powerful way of helping people cope with illness. A friend of mine in the music business started this organization that provides hospitals with music devices pre-loaded with uplifting and inspirational songs for patients to listen to during their cancer treatments. The response has been extraordinary, more of which you can see at http://www.musicbeatshearts.org/ourmission
For more about Lindsay, visit www.lindsaymccormick.com
photo credit: Jeremy Lee