Sometimes I am asked the question, “Why did you decide to enter the world of athlete representation?” It is a loaded question that is extremely difficult to answer.
Up until high school, the plan was to become a doctor. You know that put a smile on my Jewish mother’s face. When I realized that I could not bare even looking at blood, I started to think about new lines of work. From the day I was born, my father pushed sports on me. I loved watching athletes perform, but enjoyed being a part of the action even more. I picked up a tennis racket at the age of 3 and a baseball bat at the age of 4. So with Sports Doctor out of the question, how else could I incorporate my passion for sports in my professional life?
Leading up to my freshman year of high school, I had heard many great things about High School Debate, and more specifically, my high school’s (Nova High) debate team. Never one to back down from arguing my view and stubborn to the nth degree, debate seemed like it would be a good fit. I ended up specializing in Student Congress, where I was responsible for crafting Bills and Resolutions, and arguing the Affirmative or Negative stance on a provided docket of legislation at various national tournaments. By senior year, I was Captain of the Student Congress section of our debate team, which was known for having the strongest Student Congress competitors in the United States. I was reading Supreme Court cases in high school and citing precedents practically every weekend. When I applied to various universities, the plan was to Major in Political Science and then go to law school, with the goal of entering the world of politics.
I chose the University of Florida as my college destination. Upon stepping foot on campus, I was ignorant as to how politics in the real world actually operate. I still believed that those with the brains and those with the drive were the people who were awarded positions. Boy was I wrong about that. The University of Florida opened up my eyes to how politics really works. After being denied positions that I was certainly qualified for, mostly due to the fact that I joined one of the newer, less politically powerful fraternities on campus (we are now amongst the strongest – and it is nice to know that I had a part in that), my desire for politics started to diminish. At the University of Florida there is an honor society called Florida Blue Key. It is a very selective group of the most involved and powerful people on campus. I knew I wanted to be a part of it. And I was told many times by very powerful people that I would never get in and one former President of the organization told me that he would make sure that I wouldn’t be invited. So much for that, as I am now a member, but that is another story.
So after I realized that I wanted something other than a political future, but still very interested in going to law school and always passionate about sports, I decided to give the whole sports agency business a try. Again, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I figured that the qualified applicants get invited to participate in internships and that the business operates on merit as a whole. I quickly found out that was not the case. Luckily, I had a connection to the President of a major agency. My girlfriend (at the time) was roommates with the niece of this President. The company had less than 10 summer internships available, and over 800 applicants. Only 1 person would be interning in the particular area that I wanted – Client Services. The company does a lot of work outside of athlete representation, which is where the other interns worked. My connection allowed me to skip the in-person interview and do a phone interview instead. And I failed. I did my research on the company, but living in Florida my entire life and being used to the way Floridians communicate with each other, I came off as not having enough of the “southern hospitality” this company was looking for. But I got a 2nd chance in another phone interview, and I knocked it out of the park. I interned with the company over that Summer between my sophomore and junior year of college. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be in this industry. The internship confirmed it and made me believe that I had the skills to separate myself from the competition and do great work for my future clients.