LISTEN TO ROB’S INTERVIEW & STORY:

Who are you, right now? How did you get here? Where are you going? These are questions all of us face but the answers may be elusive. The lessons from sports guide us.

Sports can influence us in so many ways, from the powerful response to the Boston Marathon bombing (“Boston Strong”) to the 1980 US Olympic hockey team upsetting the Russian favorites. The fabric of sports is deep within us all, teaching life lessons, leaving unforgettable examples of courage and effort and forever imprinting on our landscape the images of sports across the globe.

The result on the scoreboard rarely reflects the stories and struggles on the field.
What do we learn from sports? What does the near miss teach us? Or the underdog victory? Why do we participate or follow sports with such passion?

Join “Who Are You” as we uncover the life lessons of sports. Hear our guests discuss how sports have indelibly marked their lives. From Hall of Fame athletes to NBA team owners to Best Selling authors to Fortune 500 leaders, listen as we uncover the inside stories and absorb the lessons learned.

No two stories are alike yet they all share a common theme: the sheer power of sports.

Welcome to Who are You: The Life Lessons of Sports!

I Share My Own Story…

Who Am I: My Life Lessons of Sports

Examples of my journey include working in/with: Major League Baseball, coaching youth, high school & college sports (and individual athletes), sports therapy, youth and high school summer camp programs, restaurants, entertainment, marketing, hiring, customer service, organizational management and consulting.

I am also the owner of various summer camp businesses such as the official youth summer camps of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Washington Nationals Major League Baseball Teams.

Born and Raised in Washington, DC

I was born and raised in Washington, DC. Initially, I attended Sidwell Friends School and then for high school, the St. Albans School where I was a 4-sport varsity student-athlete. I then took advantage of all the greatness sports offers: my coaches, my teammates, the other team’s coaches and players, the wins, the losses, the struggles, the successes, the competition and the humility, but most of all the friendships and understanding of what it takes to attack words like “fear” and “intimidation” and instead embrace “risk, camaraderie and the ability to make adjustments in the blink of an eye as well as over the course of an entire season.”

Off to Amherst College in Western Massachusetts

Through my experiences I was fortunate to experience and achieve the unique opportunity to be a 2-sport college athlete at Amherst College in Western Massachusetts where I played Football and Baseball. While pursuing a graduate degree in Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I was fortunate to seize an opportunity that presented itself and accept a position in the Baseball Operations Department with the Cleveland Indians. This opportunity would never have happened had I not already worked hard to secure an internship with the Boston Red Sox during my senior year at Amherst while writing a senior thesis on the history of and recent resurgence of, minor league baseball in America.

Life in Cleveland, Ohio

Not only did the Indians host the 1997 All Star Game and then play (and unfortunately lose) in the 7th game of the World Series, but also more amazing and memorable was the opportunity I had to work with the brightest minds in baseball. Each and every day I would drive to Jacobs Field (now Progressive Field) and take the elevator up to the 4th floor where the baseball operations department was situated. Endless (and rewarding) hours at my desk as well as having the time to scout/view close to 200 full length baseball games; that is where I became a student of the game. It was on that floor and in those stadiums that I had the most unique one-year experience in my life.

Seven of the 10 colleagues I worked with in baseball operations that year went on to become General Managers of Major League Baseball teams. Six of them still hold that position today. Commitment, focus, team, attitude, hustle, lead-by-example, and humility — these are the words that describe not only the team on the field, but also the team I worked with on the 4th floor. It was during that year that I finally and truly recognized how sports had influenced my entire life and the choices and decisions I had made to that point.

The Life Lessons From Working in Major League Baseball

Yes there was the World Series, yes there was the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the catcher for the 1997 ESPN Home Run Hitting Derby, yes there was the responsibility of my daily visits to the Indians’ clubhouse and the interaction with some of the best athletes in the world, and yes there was the appeal for working in Major League Baseball. But most of all I reflect upon that time as one of the most special years of my life, not because of what I mention above, but 100% due to the camaraderie and friendships I made and continue to maintain today, both with my colleagues in the front office as well as some of the players.

Although I reflect back and smile everyday about my experiences, I made a difficult choice (which my entire network of friends and family sincerely questioned) to move on and pass on a promotion and a unique position in professional sports, one that may have led to a future of being a Major League Baseball General Manager. Having mentioned all of that, without this experience I could not have moved on and successfully dedicated the next phase of my life-giving back to the game-by choosing to become a teacher, mentor and coach in sports.

It Finally Clicked…

There was something that hit me that night, watching Game 7 of the World Series that would forever change my life. Reflecting back on the days pitching a baseball to my dad in the backyard (and usually hitting my younger brother in the head, sorry Doug), to the championships and All Star teams I was fortunate to play on (thanks teammates who helped us all get there), to playing in the NCAA Tournament, and then again to Game 7 of the World Series, I finally got it.

This Podcast

This Podcast is dedicated to the thousands of experiences; the thousands of friends/teammates, the multiple mentors, dedicated teachers and of course the athletes and coaches at all levels. Most importantly this Podcast is the direct result of the support and positive encouragement my small family has provided for me since I was an 11-year old little leaguer who was, thank goodness, told to not take everything so seriously; and that if I was successful 3 out of 10 times as a batter I would be in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame one day—in other polite words…get used to handling failure, Rob.

My dad always told me back in those glory days of playing catch that it’s so easy to be on top and celebrate those achievements, but who you truly are is the person who faces and is able to manage the challenges of defeat, failure, or unsuccessful risks that will ultimately define oneself as an athlete, family member and friend. From that point forward, his simple words allowed me to recognize what “I got” that night during Game 7.

What “I got” from Game 7 of the World Series

Sports are the platform for life’s greatest lessons. It took me 23 years to transfer my evolving knowledge to recognize the bigger picture. Now, I am fully aware and completely understand where my journey thus far has taken me. I have absorbed all of those lessons and decided to do something I have never done before, but through my previous life lessons of playing sports, I was not afraid nor was I intimidated to take a risk and move into a completely new arena: The world of Podcasting.

I knew that this was the opportunity to create a direct channel to celebrate and recognize those willing to share their experiences in sports and provide Who Are You Nation with the life lessons that they have learned and in return, will challenge all of us to do the same.

 

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