Teamwork: How Quincy Met Griffin Yow I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 053

Welcome to this week’s #AskASoccerPro Show! It’s 2020 and we are rolling right along with our new episodes, new format, and weekly guests. This week I was joined by someone who has been a guest before. My MSL mentee, fellow D.C. United teammate, and up and coming young star, Griffin Yow!

Our focus of the week was on teamwork, and we talked about quite a bit during this episode:

  • How I Met Griffin Yow
  • Who was More Mad, Earl or Griffin?
  • In Their Heads
  • Bad People Can’t Survive the MSL
  • Griffin Yow Joins the Live!

During this week’s show, Griffin shared his experiences with us, so make sure to keep your eyes open for the FULL interview being released in a separate article this coming week!

Make sure to catch the replay if you missed the live. Don’t forget, I go live on Instagram every Thursday at 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST to answer your questions!

How I Met Griffin Yow

Future legend, Griffin Yow joined me on the #AskASoccerPro Show to share his experiences as a young pro. I’ve been working with Griffin as an MSL mentee for a little over a year now and it has been awesome to see his growth over time. 

As I think back to how Griffin and I met and the work we’ve done together over the past year, I start to think about teamwork and what it really means, both in the context of the game and in life. You’ve heard me say over and over again that, “teamwork makes the dream work.” But, what does that even mean?

When I first met Griffin, I was in my free agency year and had ended up signing with D.C. United very late into preseason. Now, this is usually the case for individuals like myself, but, that is another story for another time.

So, I remember we were in Clearwater, Florida and it was my first day of training with the team. After preseason training sessions, everyone would go to the vans to head back to the hotel. There were a few vans ready to take us back, and me, being the new guy, you just find anywhere there is space. Usually, there tends to be space available with the younger guys, and I just happened to be sitting next to Griffin and Moses (Nyeman) at that time.

Griffin, Moses, and I all start talking a bit, and Griff was asking me a few questions. By the time we get to the hotel, I turn around and asked Griffin, “well between you and Mo at this time, if I had to choose who I would sign to a contract and could only choose one of you, who do you think I would choose?”

It was interesting because looking at Griffin’s face at that time was almost like, “well obviously the choice is me.” And Griff’s level of confidence, you need that if you want to play at the professional level, so there’s nothing wrong with that. I could almost see him having the look of, “who the hell do you think you are Quincy, I know the answer to that question is me.”

So, I look at Griffin and said, “to be honest, I’m picking Moses.” At that time, Moses was younger than Griffin but more mentally mature. Now, the reason I’m so impressed with Griffin, is because when I said that, I could tell it made him very angry, it caught him off guard. But, I also saw in that moment, a genuine curiosity and him start to question his own belief in himself from the perspective of, “I want to understand how someone like him could say something like that to me.”

What I really was impressed with Griff, was his ability to not be closed off to the idea that he could be wrong, which is an extremely valuable skill and one that most people aren’t able to develop and understand because at this level it’s the subtle differences in the mindset that determine long-term success.

When I saw Griff’s reaction to what I said, I was very curious to see how he would take on the challenge, and it wasn’t me saying this to him to just take a piss, you know what I mean? I wasn’t lying, I was telling him the truth and I think he could see that from me in that moment. I could see that at that moment he questioned himself and his dedication to his craft, and what he was willing to do to learn and implement in order to get back to the place in his mind he fell down from.

Who was More Mad, Earl or Griffin?

I definitely made Griffin mad during our first interaction, but I think I made Earl Edwards even more angry the first time we met. Earl currently works with me here at Perfect Soccer, so I would say we recovered nicely. But at first impression?

I would say Griffin was more pissed off personally, because in his case it was received as a personal attack, but he also started to question himself quickly and adjusted.

Earl, on the other hand, got pissed off, then wrote me off. He spent two or three months ignoring me and not a single thing I had to say was received.

I think a huge advantage of being young versus being older is the older you get, the more experience you have and sometimes your experience hurts you because your experience doesn’t allow you to hear a message that could help you. When you’re younger, you are usually able to acknowledge that you’re wrong more quickly and you have less experience you have to work through to overcome your bad habits.

In Their Heads

Someone’s reaction and response will let you know if you’re in their head. If someone is trying to tell you that you’re not in their head… you’re in their head. And if they don’t believe it’s true, then you’re two levels deep in their head.

Now if they still don’t acknowledge that you’re in their head, but you can visibly see that they are angry and can’t articulate it or are choosing not to… then you are like four levels deep in their head.

Getting into somebody’s head is a matter of trapping them mentally in a game they can’t think their way out of. People typically get frustrated when they can’t figure something out. They can’t solve a problem and most people tend to get angry when they can’t solve a problem. 

The anger that someone has when they can’t solve a problem usually manifests in some type of physical outburst, yelling, name-calling, whatever, and as soon as they’re doing that it’s just feedback to you that you’re in control, not them.

So, it comes back to control, right? If the troll on the internet makes you mad, who is in control? If the troll makes you laugh and smile, you control the troll.

The longer the troll pays attention to you, the more of their mental capacity, mental space, mental rent, and their mental assets are being deposited into your name and bank account. We are here being investors of time, so, the more time others invest in you, the more valuable they make you over time. Now, this is the one thing that your haters and trolls either don’t believe because they don’t want to, or they don’t think it’s true, which is fine. 

Bad People Can’t Survive the MSL

How it works in the MSL is that you admit that you’ve made a mistake or mistakes, you acknowledge them, and then you work past them by improving yourself.

If you’re a bad person, you’re going to have a difficult time in the MSL, because in order to get out, you have to admit to the mistakes you’ve made out loud and do the work to make up for the work you didn’t do before.

There are no shortcuts here ladies and gentlemen, there are NONE. If you see a shortcut, it’s not real, it’s a trap. If someone is telling you there is a shortcut, that is a trap and they are lying to you because they want you to fail.

If there are no shortcuts, how can you speed up your process? You build a team. Your network is your net worth and the way you build your team is how you will stand the test of time. When times get rough, and that’s the nature of not only professional sports but life, you will have the support system that you’re needing to get through anything.

Final Thoughts

Teamwork will really get you through the hard times, in professional sports and in life. You build your loyal team and create a culture of teamwork by knowing what you represent and sticking to your principles in good times and bad.

I’ve experienced teamwork on the soccer field and in the business world, and it holds true in both scenarios; a good team makes all the difference.