The First Time 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.
Make sure to check out the full-length episode here, and the PS Clip about 'How I Met Griffin Yow' below!