Dealing With The Media

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How to Prepare for an Interview, What to Do During an Interview, and How To Sound Like A Professional Spokesperson

Here are tips from Terri Parker, a veteran Investigative Reporter for the ABC news affiliate WPBF 25 NEWS concerning talking to reporters:

“Reporters are looking for two main things. First, you need to be able to describe why you are there and what you are doing in a short, succinct and fully formed sentence or two – leaving out any jargon.

Second, you need to explain why people – the viewers – should care.

Prior to the interview:

Have four or five “Press Kits” ready. You will keep one and give one to each network representative who shows up. Purchase two-sided pocket folders. On the right side, there should be slits so a business card can be inserted. Insert your card, or a card with the contact information for your organization, into the slits. Insert a copy of your press release in the left pocket. This is the only document that goes in the left pocket.

In the right pocket, insert Fact Sheets printed on 20-pound paperweight, bright, white paper. The Fact Sheets can come directly off of your organization’s website, or that of a like-minded organization. These are never copyrighted and available for use by anyone. Behind the Fact Sheets, insert two-three sheets of paper containing relevant research on the subject. This may include studies or polls released by reputable non-biased agencies, preferably with websites with a URL ending in .edu or .gov. Finally, if there is any relevant legislative issues or bills being introduced that will affect your issue, print out and provide those as well. Reporters will be much more open to airing or printing stories they don’t have to research entirely on their own. You’ve done that for them.

How to Prepare for an Interview

When the media shows up to your event or invites you to the studio for an interview, follow these tips so you can be prepared. Anticipate common questions, such as:

· What group do you represent? Know the exact legal name, including the Inc. and if applicable, add that it is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization.

· What is your position within the group? If you are a volunteer, say so. If you are an employee or board member, state that as well.

· What are you there for today? Be sure to know specifics and give full names.

· Why is it important for the public to be aware of this issue? State how it affects them directly.

· What is a better solution? Always have an answer to a problem. Never present a problem without presenting one or more solutions to consider.

· What can the viewers at home do about this? Give precise answers.

· What do you say to people who say (insert opponent’s argument?) Know all of your opponent’s arguments and how to counter them.

Make sure you can answer these common questions with just one or two sentences. Unless your interview is being broadcast live, it will probably be edited down to one or two sound bites, or 20 seconds of talk, so make them count. You can practice your interviewing skills by having someone ask you questions about the issue or your group.

What to Do During an Interview

Start by thanking the reporter for covering the issue. Don’t be profuse. Just a “thanks for coming” is better than over-enthusiasm for the media presence. Don’t waste a minute of yours or their time.

If you are being interviewed by a television crew, remember to look at the interviewer and not the camera.

Do not be emotional. Be matter-of-fact. Don’t come off as over-sensitive or hysterical. If you feel you cannot stay calm and businesslike, ask someone else to take the interview.

What if you are asked a question for which you have no answer?

· If the interview is being broadcast live, say that you don’t know the answer, and then redirect the conversation toward a topic that you do know.

· If the interview is not being broadcast live, offer to get back to the reporter later with an answer. Reporters work on very tight deadlines, so get the information and follow up as soon as possible, preferably within a couple of hours. At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer again. If you feel the interviewer has not asked the right questions and the interview appears to be ending soon, be proactive and speak up!

Quickly add, “I’d just like to conclude by saying . . .”

The most important take-away is to be on point, conversational, and passionate. Hit your key points on camera succinctly. You can explain all of the background off camera.


Block, Random, Specialized, and Integrated Training


Block and Random, Specialized and Integrated training.

Block: Practice the same thing for five minutes or more at a time.
Random: Mixing up the particulars regularly in a drill so as not to do the exact same thing more than a few times before changing it up.

Specialized: Practice each skill/task separately and improve them so they’ll be better when you later use them together.
Integrated: Every drill includes several skills/tasks (e.g., draw, reload, and movement.)

All of these are useful for different reasons. Block training is great for learning and honing a specific skill or practicing for something specific. Specialized approach drills down to particulars. Studies concerning field sport players have shown value in a Random approach after base skills have been developed as this emulates game situations and every individual skill needs to be Integrated with others.

You can have random, integrated practice (build a stage, run it three times, build another) or random, specialized practice (5 runs on bill drill, 5 runs on accelerator, 5 runs on criss cross, repeat SHO, repeat WHO). You can have block, integrated practice (run the same stage 20 times until you beat your par time down as far as possible) and block, specialized practice (spend 300 rounds on beating down your Bill Drill PR).

What’s annyoying is that the “it has to be ‘real’ or you can’t learn” mindset only really applies to a very narrow group of individuals.

Of all the sports and all the physical skills in the world, very few find the need to practice in a singularly “real” environment where small drills are eschewed. In fact, actual athletes and operators recognize the need and benefit of tightly-controlled block and specialized drills.

There seems to be a contingent of “wannabes” and those who bank on them (i.e., offering tactical courses) for whom the “realism” element is an end unto itself. It would seem that “pretending to” is an acceptable enough replacement for “never did”.

This does not just go for the shooting community, but for martial arts douches, peaked in high school footballers, and pretty much anywhere where some sort of glorification is involved.

Consider this:

Take note that Kobe Bryant practiced 800 jump shots in 4 hours like it was nothing. Not exactly playing a “real” game.


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The Waffenlauf is a type of Swiss marathon where every current or former soldier can participate. A sort of modern hoplitodromos They are required to carry an army rifle (such as the K31, Stgw 57 and Stgw 90) and their uniform.

Pictured is the all-time champion Albrecht Moser, who won this competition numerous times while carrying his old K31 and his old army uniform.

Deer Hunting Is Getting Safer


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the results of Wisconsin’s gun deer season.

Wisconsin’s 2018 gun deer-hunting season was safest on record

With three non-fatal shooting injuries, the 2018 Wisconsin gun deer season set a record for hunter safety, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“We’re going to call it the state’s safest gun deer season ever,” said Jon King, DNR conservation warden and hunter safety coordinator.

The 2018 gun deer season ran Nov. 17 to 25. Although the agency has not released a final tally of gun deer license sales, it is expected about 570,000 hunters were authorized to participate.

Prior to this season, the DNR considered 2014, with four non-fatal shooting injuries, the safest.

There has been a long-term trend toward fewer shooting incidents in Wisconsin gun deer hunting seasons, especially since hunter safety education was made mandatory in 1985.

In step with these changes, the shooting accident rate in the gun deer season was 10.6 incidents per 100,000 participants in 1985, 4.8 in 1995 and about 0.5 in 2018.

The DNR is investigating the three incidents that occurred this year.

The first took place 1:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Marcellon Township of Columbia County where a 24-year-old shooter participating in a deer drive shot at a running deer but struck the victim, a 23-year-old male, in the foot. The men were members of the same hunting party. The victim was treated at a local hospital.

The second occurred about 5 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Village of Colfax in Dunn County. In this case, a 21-year-old male who was not wearing blaze orange was working on his downed deer when he was hit in the arm by a bullet from a 17-year-old shooter who thought the victim was a deer. The victim was transported to a hospital and released.

The last was recorded at noon Nov. 25 in Sauk County. A 39-year-old male had stopped hunting and was unloading his firearm, a handgun, when it discharged and the bullet struck him in the palm, King said. The victim was treated for the wound and released.

This all occurred with an increase in total tagged deer during the season:

Hunters registered 211,430 deer during Wisconsin gun deer season, up 7% from 2017

This is in line with trends over the past decades:

Strength Trumps All Health Markers With No Inflection Point


Dr. Jonathon Sullivan responding to a query concerning possible negative outcomes from strength training:

Where is your peer-reviewed, properly controlled data to indicate that progressively increasing one’s strength with heavy training causes an inflection point to the negative in either performance or “health” in populations? And what is the consensus of the data as to exactly where this inflection point will occur for any individual or population?

Well, it won’t be found here:

In a study lasting nearly two decades involving 8,762 men aged 20-80 it was found that, “Muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer in men, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders… Muscular strength was independently associated with risk of death from all causes and cancer in men. These findings are valid for men of normal weight, those who are overweight, and younger or older men, and are valid even after adjusting for several potential confounders, including cardiorespiratory fitness.”

TL;DR: Increased muscular strength trumped all other indicators of health and was the single best predictor of reduced mortality in a 18.9 year study involving 8,762 test subjects and categorizing them into low, middle, and upper strength groups. The stronger people proved harder to kill and no inflection point was found.

Association between muscular strength and mortality in men: prospective cohort study

Associations of Muscle Mass and Strength with All-Cause Mortality among US Older Adults

Weightlifting is good for your heart and it doesn’t take much

Research indicates strength training may be more effective for heart health and overall health than cardio, especially for older people.

If we imagine some yet-to-be-found inflection point of negative health from increased strength does exist, the number of humans taking up barbell training that manage to reach that unicorn is too low to consider.

Conditioning: Soccer


The best prescription for fitness is to follow a strength and conditioning protocol that emphasizes a solid but simple strength base (preferably programmed with primary, compound barbell lifts) combined with appropriate conditioning. “Appropriate conditioning” depends on the task and needs to address those particulars. The problem is people either fail to learn the particulars or just ignore what they find.

Association Football (Soccer) are particularly guilty of this.

First, you have to videotape a game with a camera that doesn’t follow the ball. Then play it back while you focus on one player, recording every movement they make while estimating the pace and distance they run. Then rewind and do it all over again for the next player. Labor and time intensive is an understatement for these projects.

The first time-motion study over a full season was done on Everton FC (Liverpool, England) in the mid-1970s and the estimated distance covered was just under 8,800 meters per game.

Movement speeds were walking, jogging, cruising (‘running with manifest purpose and effort’), sprinting, and backing. About 2/3 of the distance was covered at the low intensities of walking and jogging and around 800 meters sprinting in numerous short 10-40 meter bursts. A player was in control of the ball for an average of 200 meters for a whopping total of 90 seconds (that means you spend 88.5 minutes trying to get or keep someone from getting the ball).

Recording every change of speed and direction showed that there was some change in activity every 5-6 seconds. Subsequent work and maturation of the game has pushed this total distance up to around 10,000 meters for a men’s professional European game with the South American game being contested at a little less total running distance.

Midfielders run the most, central strikers and defenders the least. Don’t brag too much about the running volume–10,000 meters (six miles) in 90 minutes is four miles per hour, something a good power walker can do.

The physiological intensity of the game can be estimated one of those heart monitors you see joggers and cyclists wearing. The average heart rate for the full 90 minutes ranges between 150-170 beats per minute with very high values while sprinting and more moderate values when less involved in the game.

One interesting observation that doesn’t take an “A” license to figure out: the most physically intense part of the game is while in control of the ball.

Your pulse rate goes up and lactic acid production (that heavy feeling in your legs you perceive after sprinting) increases. This is a primary reason why coaches sets up lots of small sided games that force players to be ‘on the ball’ far more often than during 11 v 11.

Generally, the women’s game is a little less running and at a slower pace (about 75 percent of the women’s game is at a walk/jog), but when conditions demand it, the women can cover just as much distance as the men.

And, realize that women have a smaller capacity, so when they cover the same distance as men playing the same game on the same field for the same time as men, they are working harder.

Now that we know some details about the game, the focus of training begins to become clearer. The other pieces in the training puzzle are game tactics.

Except, as is commonly the problem, people fail to do something useful with the info. Soccer players continue the same failed path as the military, with an overemphasis on long, slow cardio and little else.

Consider that formal game analysis revealed that midfielders – the players that run the most – manage about six miles in 90 minutes, which is a walking pace. Any modestly-fit person won’t find this a problem. A better emphasis would be to continue practicing skills, scrimmaging with your team while getting generally strong and adding in some intervals either at the end of practice or spaced throughout the week.

More important than this, soccer is statistically among the most dangerous sports based on the number of injuries per hundred participant hours. This makes strength training a needed injury preventative. FIFA released their FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention protocol and had some successful results with it:

The problem is, the light calisthenics used in this warmup only had a positive effect because soccer players as a population are weak enough for this to provide any benefit. Much as the U.S. Army’s physical therapy-based fitness program in FM 7-22, such “prehab” exercises only help a target population lacking a general but thorough strength base.

Here’s an example of a better approach.

Strength Training Makes You a Better Soccer Player

Soccer is Dangerous

Soccer players are hurt quite often. The injury rate is 62 per 1000 hours. Powerlifting, interestingly, has an injury rate of 0.008 per 1000 hours. Knee injuries are common, especially for women. One review found the rate for female soccer players in college sports to be 0.31 ACL injuries per 1000 athlete exposures. To give you some perspective, the rate of ACL injury for college football players ranges from 0.124 to 0.173 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures. Soccer players are about twice as likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments as football players.

Stronger is Safer

More training of the muscle equals more protection. Think about the structure of the knee. It is a loose, mobile joint protected by ligaments, but also protected by the quadriceps and hamstrings. The quadriceps pulls the tibia by means of the patellar tendon, in which is the kneecap. When the knee is flexed, such as at the bottom of a properly done squat, the patella applies pressure to the joint capsule, acting as a built-in knee wrap. The hamstring muscles pull the tibia to the rear, counteracting the pull of the quadriceps and helping to keep the knee stable. In addition, there is a stretch reflex when a muscle is quickly stretched. The muscle contracts to protect the joint. If I grab your arm and jerk it, you will quickly contract to resist my pull. More muscle, more resistance. Now imagine the situation on the soccer field when you make a quick plant of the foot and turn, or when you collide with another player: there will be very sharp tugs on your leg musculature. Wouldn’t you want to be strong in order to resist damage to your knee?

In fact, studies have shown that greater strength helps prevent injuries. Why don’t they just lift weights? It’s actually rather infuriating to read these journal articles and find that no one recommends a simple strength program. If being stronger keeps you from getting injured, why not just get stronger? We know that Olympic weightlifters, who squat deep every day, have very strong knees, very few knee injuries, and healthier and thicker connective tissue in the joint. Coaches might fear that their athletes will get slower, there might be lack of time to institute a proper strength training routine, or more likely there might be a lack of understanding of the general adaptation syndrome and how to use it to get stronger.

Sixth World Congress on Science and Football Proceedings: Effects of hypertrophy and a maximal strength training programme on speed, force and power of soccer players. g. BogdANiS, A. PAPASPyRou, A. SougliS, A. TheoS,A. SoTiRoPouloS ANd m. mARidAKi

Isokinetic strength of quadriceps-hamstring muscle in soccer players playing in different leagues. Zekiye Nisa Özberk, Özlem Öner-Coskun, Sabire Akın and Feza Korkusuz

On Competition

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“Difficulty is a severe instructor … He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”
– 18th-century philosopher-statesman Edmund Burke

That is, my enemy is my friend. Competition demands that I make myself physically and intellectually fit and that I strive toward constant self-betterment.

– John Tate

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