"I wasn’t the biggest, I wasn’t fastest. But I could control being the fittest, the hard-working mentally and thinking ahead.”
Minnesota United FC on-field reporter Jamie Watson didn’t reach his lofty goals as a professional soccer player. But he experienced his share of highlights and learned important lessons during challenging times in a career that spanned eight teams in all four U.S. leagues over 13 seasons.
Here are three of Jamie’s takeaways from his soccer story:
Be humble: “I had this weird thought that what I did on the field defined what I did off the field, that 90 minutes on the field is what mattered more than anything else. But I realized that being good at a sport doesn’t define you. I didn’t know that early on. Being thoughtful that others helped lead you to your success. Then you need to help others to success.”
Be a hard worker: “You may not be the most talented, but you can always be one of the hardest workers. My dad taught me that. He worked every day from 9 to 5. He sells wooden pallets. He told me, ‘Did I ever set out to be a pallet salesman? Absolutely not. But I could do this to support my family, and I set out to be the best.’ If I got a tattoo, it would be W-G-P-S, short for World’s Greatest Palette Salesman. Whatever you do, be the best at it. I wasn’t the biggest, I wasn’t fastest. But I could control being the fittest, the hard-working mentally and thinking ahead.”
Appreciate the journey: “Always look forward, but enjoy the moment. It is important that you don’t fly through this — your career, your life — without enjoying the moments. If I could do it all over again, I think I would pick my head up a little more and look around, and realize how fortunate I was, and think, ‘This is what hard work yields.’ ”