Tin Can Robot

Athlete to Talking Head

The retired athletes that you suddenly see on ESPN aren’t naturally camera-ready. ESPN has staffed its on-air talent department with several coaches to help those athletes make the transition:

In 2008, to remedy the problem, ESPN created a talent department staffed with several performance coaches like Nash. When the network hired Ray Lewis, a voluble former Baltimore Raven known for his enthusiasm and his incoherence, in equal measure, it asked him to undergo training with Arthur Joseph, a vocal coach who often works with opera singers. “We wanted him to focus on delivering that same intensity, but to put it in a proper sentence structure,” Tim Scanlan, a vice-president in the talent department, said. Joseph met Lewis at his home, and put him through a series of exercises that he calls “vocal yoga.”