I remember reading the MLB Scouting Report for a teammate of mine in high school, DJ Lewis. He was a man amongst children. He came from a passionate, loving, and strict Jamaican family. In his write up from the MLB Scouting Bureau it listed the usual details about his skills and physical attributes, but it also described him as “personable”. Since I’d never seen that word before and I was obsessed with what scouts thought of players, I asked my dad what it meant.
“It means he’s a likeable guy. Like you can talk with him and relate..,” my dad, who’s also a master of connection, explained.
If scouts spent the ink to write that word “personable” on the page, it was a good enough attribute to have for me. As a shy kid, I always wanted to improve my ability to communicate with others. My dad was a master at this.
While I haven’t arrived at mastery in this category by any means, I’ll tell you that in 2020 it’s both critically important and a nearly universal weakness for our society, especially with younger folks. If you could choose any skill in the world, the ability to connect with another human being could be in the running for most valuable.
Recently, I felt proud about my ability to connect with two older gentlemen just outside the gate at the garage. They were walking back to their car and I noticed that the gym caught their eyes. They weren’t fitness types, but I smiled and made a specific effort to engage with them. It was one of those moments where the energy became delightfully mutual, even to the point where it became appropriate to invite them in, show them around, and describe some of our ethos. Zero percent of the conversation has selling them the gym in mind. We were sharing ideas. Mine about our business and theirs about creativity. The conversation was one I felt like my dad would have been proud of. DJ would have been, too.
The older of the two gentlemen and I bonded and he shared with me about photography. I appreciate art and got curious and learned a bit about his craft and his origins in the Soho District of New York City. Our spontaneous conversation quickly plummeted deep from pleasantries at the gate into an exchange of philosophy in front of the sauna and ice baths. The older gentleman invited me to reach out to him in New York with the hope that I’d allow him to show me his studio and neighborhood. He gave me his card and we parted ways.
Curiously, I later googled the name on the card and learned that my new friend is an acclaimed photographer credited with personally introducing Jean-Michel Basquiat to Andy Warhol. In fact, he gave his late friend, Warhol, his first camera and lessons to use it to boot!
Could personability be the bridge to life’s most remarkable experiences? So far, my evidence points to “Yes”. I’d like to thank the Major League Scouting Bureau, DJ Lewis, and my dad for pushing me to chase the skill of conversation. As a coach, I’ll ask you to chase development in this area with me.
Every :90 for 4 sets, complete the following for load:
3 Clean Pulls
Then, every :90 for 4 sets, complete the following for load:
2 Cleans (AHAP)
Then, complete 2 rounds for time of:
25 Wall Balls (20/14)
10 Pull Ups
25 Wall Balls