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Three Life Lessons Jamie Watson Learned in His Soccer Career

By Sean Jensen, SportsEngine, 11/29/18, 3:45PM CST


Watson: Don't forget to enjoy the moment, work hard and be humble

"I wasn’t the biggest, I wasn’t fastest. But I could control being the fittest, the hard-working mentally and thinking ahead.”

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Minnesota United FC player-turned-on-field reporter learned dozens of life lessons during his professional soccer career. Courtesy photo/Getty Images

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.’ ”

About Sean Jensen

Sean Jensen was born in South Korea, but he was raised in California, Massachusetts and Virginia, mostly on or near military bases. Given his unique background, he's always been drawn to storytelling, a skill he developed at Northwestern University and crafted for the last 16 years, almost exclusively covering the NFL. Sean lives in a Minneapolis suburb with his wife, two children and dog. Read more

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