This week’s conversation is with Jermaine Jones, a German-American soccer player who played as a defensive midfielder for most of his career.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany to an American father and German mother, he came up through the German club system and represented Germany at the U21 and senior level.

He later filed for a switch to the United States making his debut in 2010 and played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Playing in multiple countries has given Jermaine a unique perspective on what makes a great soccer player and that’s something we touch on in this conversation.

What is it that makes the rest of the world more competitive than the United States when it comes to men’s soccer?

Jermaine believes it comes to down to embracing pressure and being resilient.

This is one of the reason’s he recently started up Define Sports and Entertainment Agency, focused on developing American soccer talent

Jermaine is real, he’s got an edge, and I think that stands out in this conversation.

In Jermaine’s words: “I just want to be myself. I don’t want to switch, I don’t want to change for anybody. I want to be myself, I want to be respected, I want to give people the respect they deserve … to treat them how I want to be treated.”

“Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. There’s moments where it’s not easy, but stick to your beliefs and go for it.”

In This Episode:

  • Growing up in Frankfurt, parents split up early
  • Wanting to get his family out of the rough neighborhood they lived in and how that became a motivating force with soccer
  • Is he concerned with his kids growing up fortunate, will they still have the same drive he did?
  • Does he care about being his best or the best in the world
  • His experience meeting his father for the first time after 20 years of being gone
  • Why he thrives on pushing things to the edge
  • The types of risks he’s okay taking
  • The reason U.S. soccer falls behind the rest of the world
  • Why pressure is a good thing and how to manage it
  • The psychological skills he wishes every kid would learn
  • His process for handling self-doubt
  • How partying and drinking almost ended his career in his 20’s
  • What authenticity comes down to and what gets in the way of it
  • How his divorce has affected him and his approach to the next phase of his life

 

Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS

 

Quotables:

“I just want to be myself. I don’t want to switch, I don’t want to change for anybody. I want to be myself, I want to be respected, I want to give people the respect they deserve … to treat them how I want to be treated.”

“Life is about the work. You can’t say, ‘Oh, I want to be there but I don’t want to put the work in.’”

“I think the best coaches in the world, they’re not really coaches, they’re mentors. They’re just trying to see athletes as human beings and keep everybody on the same page.”

 

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Founder and CEO at Defined Group

Jermaine Jones is an American soccer player who has played as a defensive midfielder for most of his career. He currently plays as a midfielder for the Ontario Fury in the Major Arena Soccer League.