The Magic of Emotional Intelligence by Magician James David

At 7:30 a.m. I boarded a flight to Detroit. I made my way down the aisle to the coach section where we were packed into our tiny seats like eggs in a carton. I found myself seated next to a young serviceman. Army I think. He was in uniform and had carried on a duffel bag as if he were headed back to his base. A moment after we had both gotten situated, a guy makes his way back from the first class section, stops at my row and says, “Go take my seat. I’ll switch with you. You deserve it.”  Woo Hoo! It’s my lucky day, I thought. He must be a fan of The Phil Factor. 

As fate would have it, he was talking to the young serviceman next to me. Little did I know that both the young serviceman and I were in luck that day. My new but extremely weary travel companion was magician James David. He must have pulled at least $40 in change out of my ear during the hour long flight. I’m kidding of course. His real trick was staying awake. He had performed until late in Buffalo the previous evening and then during the night drove over an hour to get to Rochester where his flight was leaving from and he hadn’t slept all night.

This is James’ third time appearing on #ThePhilFactor, but it’s his first as an author. You can read his other two interviews HERE and HERE

Me: I have yet to see a job listing for magician on LinkedIn. How does one become a magician as a career?

James: Hey Phil, well one doesn’t just get to pick a job as a magician from Linkedin.   You have to receive a letter from an owl saying you have been accepted to Hogwarts.  Everyone knows that Phil!!   However,  if you are not that lucky (like myself) then learning from a book or a website is a good place to start.  Once you master the basics of magic and get good enough at them you don’t have to “apply” for a job, the jobs just come to you.  When I started to get really good people would just ask me if I did this for a living and how much did I charge?  All I had to do was answer yes!  So the short answer to your question is LOTS of hard work and practice.

Me: What led you, a magician, to decide to write a book about sports team chemistry?

James: Long before I was a magician I was a basketball coach.   In fact, I started learning magic to entertain my students and my players when I felt like making the atmosphere a little more fun. It gave the kids and myself a mental break from reality. But as I learned more and more about magic, I realized magic and sports/life are identical.   What I mean is that they both have fundamentals.  The more you practice a skill set the better you get at it and the better you get at mastering the fundamentals the more it looks like “magic”.   The same is with building chemistry with someone.

I was turned onto the topic of emotional intelligence through a conversation I was having with a friend one day.  It fascinated me and the more I researched the topic, the more I realized it had to do with building chemistry.  But my coaching mind never shuts off and I just kept saying to myself, “This is team building stuff.”   From there I realized that building chemistry is the same as magic and sports.   There are certain fundamental of chemistry as well.  Those fundamentals are self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management.  If you work hard at them and developing emotional intelligence, you will build chemistry!  (It’s explained in more detail in the book)
Me: What has been your most unique or exciting experience working with sports teams?
James: Since I am by heart a basketball guy, my two favorite team to work with have been UCLA men’s basketball and the Portland Trailblazers.  I just loved talking hoops and being able to help professional athletes think about team chemistry in a different way.  But UCLA was my favorite team growing up and it was special to work with a historic program like UCLA because of its rich history in winning championships and because of their former head coach John Wooden.   In fact, John Wooden has a lot of high emotional intelligence principles in his coaching style which is what helped him win so many hearts of his players.   They loved him because of it.
Me: What does your book offer for someone who isn’t in sports coaching?
James:  It was funny you asked this question because when I was having people pre-read my book, I picked some people  that knew sports and some that never played.  One consistent thing I heard back from people was that not only did they learn how emotional intelligent relates to sports, but that it also relates to life!   You do not have to be a sports person to get the value of emotional intelligence. You just need to be willing to learn  and apply it.   When you do that whether you play sports or not, your life will improve.
Me: Thank you James. I appreciate you stopping by The Phil Factor again. Best of luck with your book and your magic.
If you’re interested in learning more about James you can find him at JamesDavidMagic and you can find his book on Amazon! Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

10 responses to “The Magic of Emotional Intelligence by Magician James David

  1. I’m intrigued. I’d never have thought of sports and magic as coexisting, building on each other, but I get it. And like it. Will go check out the book now. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. what an interesting guy to cross paths with

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For coaches and teams that haven’t checked James or his book out, they’re really missing out. It’s beyond team-building. It’s a cognitive understanding and training of the mind. Call it “magic zen.” James gets “it.” In the world of sports, the term “it” is a level “self-actualization” as explained by Maslow, but pertaining to sports and understanding of others as well as moments and opportunities. James develops that in person or through this read. Like the movie, “Roadhouse,” I’m just waiting on James to “get bigger!” Enough of my quotes. Great read and enjoyable interview Phil. Welcome to the world of James! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The more you practice a skill set the better you get at it and the better you get at mastering the fundamentals the more it looks like “magic”.

    Whoa!!

    So very well said. That is the best definition of magic I have ever heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just discovered your site and I am really intrigued about how open you are to meeting people and understanding their minds. Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to more.

    Liked by 1 person

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