All who have elevated to a position of influence once had mentors and supporters along the way. They remember looking to the future and staring at a massive mountain that seemed impossible to climb. With initiative and an extended hand to help guide them, that mountain became less intimidating and the summit become more near. The 2018 Game Changing Retreat was the ultimate boost to help me climb the mountain. It was a four-day experience constantly filled with hands reaching down, to help me and my fellow cohort members up our own mountain. We were touching the the hands that will launch our journey through the sports industry.
For this to be the first year of the Winning Edge Game Changing Retreat, the staff blew it out of the water. They created an environment that promoted synergy and strong relationship development. Although we were assigned to one of six mentors, we established strong bonds with each individual mentor throughout the four days.
The Dinners of Influence brought out impactful figures in today’s booming sports industry. They were individuals who could easily fill thousands of seats with their presence alone but they took time to have a sit-down dinner and speak with a handful of young adults, who aspire to one day be in their shoes. Their guidance was paramount and it was reassuring to hear them mention they were once in our shoes. Having been where we are, they continue the process of paying it forward.
On top of the relationships that were formed, this was an educational environment. We were given the keys to success by our mentors and guest speakers. The likes of Trevor Moawad, elite mental conditioning coach, provided us with tools to engage in elite-level neutral thinking. The same tools that the greatest athletes in the world utilize like Russell Wilson! Our mentor, Will Baggett, showed us how to present our executive image through “Appearance, Behavior, Communication, Digital Presence, and Emotional Intelligence.” The Emerging Careers Panel gave us insight into the growth and opportunities available in the world of eSports, NASCAR, Minor League Baseball, and social media marketing. We were immersed in the presence of greatness and success. It was truly humbling and inspiring.
Although this was a business trip, WE HAD FUN! This was Miami, FL! We met everyday at an amazing beach house. Adidas hooked us up with gear. We woke up bright and early for Trap Yoga on the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay rooftop with a view of the downtown skyline. Then, we tried to tap into our inner Tiger Woods (in his prime) with an all red and black outfit on the golf course.
The entire experience, from acceptance to the final moments, everything was more than I expected. This was more than just the standard professional development workshop or conference. Everyone in attendance throughout the retreat was a part of the Winning Edge family. There were two former game changers and Maria Taylor’s parents even took time out of their schedules to drive us around all weekend. The photographer and video team made sure to get all the angles and brought straight heat with every shot. Chef Oscar and his team came with it at every meal, especially on the shrimp and grits! We are all bonded forever and our hands are linked as we scale the mountain. We are proud to be the OG Game Changing Retreat class and are already reaching down to help the next generation of people who look like us. This is just the beginning. We game change!
2018 Game Changing Retreat Cohort