By Dylan Lee,
Bluedevilhub.com Staff —
“Who the hell is Jay Harris?”
That is the question that Harris pondered at the podium in front of roughly 6000 high school journalists at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention.
Harris, who has worked for ESPN since 2003, is an anchor for ESPN’s flagship program, SportsCenter.
Harris holds the opinion that individualism is the key to success. He says that the people who are the best at what they do are not anything more than ordinary people.
Harris is a strong believer in people being themselves. “You have to do you,” he said. “I know who I am and I have great confidence in doing me.”
Harris came from the humble beginnings of his own high school journalism program to rise up to one of the most esteemed positions in the sports world.
One of the qualities that Harris attributes his success to is his ability to take constructive criticism and turn it into improvement in his performance.
After graduating from college, Harris auditioned to broadcast for countless news programs and was rejected repeatedly. But Harris worked on it, and got better to the point where he landed a job at ESPN, where he rose up to become an anchor.
Having previously worked in the news broadcasting field, Harris switched to sports midway through his career. The switch was tough, but Harris was helped by his interests.
“I loved sports, I just didn’t really want to do sports before,” he said.
Harris ended his speech with “Who am I to be brilliant, talented or gorgeous? Who are you not to be,” he said. “We are all born to shine as children of God. As we liberate our own fear, our presence liberates others. Shine. Just shine, and most of all have fun.”
Harris is successful at his job because he loves it.
“I talk about sports wearing makeup and a nice suit. If I don’t love this then there’s something wrong with me,” he said.
Harris has become an old pro at adjusting to change over the course of his career and has found the best way to deal with these changes.
“It’s 90% mental, and the other 10% is mental,” he said. “Once I got out of my own way, it was easy.”