On today’s episode of Beautiful Game by WeaselsFC, Tony Nicalo speaks with Jay Demerit, former professional player. Jay grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, choosing to play soccer over football. He grew up in a family full of gym teachers, coaches, and past athletes. He started his college career at UIC as a forward, changed his position in the first season, and left as a defender. A British classmate asked Jay if he’d want to move to England with him after graduating, so he did. Jay lived in an attic and worked his way up within a year to a trial with a First Division team, Watford. The team was promoted to the Premier League the following year and Jay became one of only eight Americans in the league at the time. He became Captain of Watford and played in the 2010 World Cup. The Vancouver Whitecaps then approached him in 2011 and he became Captain and played for four years before ending his career, getting married to an Olympian, and having a son. He now creates programming for young people to become more well-rounded and better versions of themselves through Captains Camps through the Rise and Shine Foundation.
Jay speaks honestly about being Captain at Watford before he was ready. He also shares how when he wasn’t Captain in the following seasons, he played his best with leaders around him, so all he had to do was his job. Jay stayed ready for opportunities, even when taking the hard road, sleeping on floors in England for a year and a half. But when he was asked to play in a friendly game, he was fit and ready to perform. When Jay was given a chance on the starting line-up for a friendly game, he had his moment of panic and started to worry about whether he could do it, what if he failed, and he doubted himself. But the key was turning his mindset around to be grateful and excited for the opportunity, as well as understanding that he’s prepared for years and is more than able to compete.
Jay explains how Captains Camps teaches skillsets and mindsets in one to four-day programs. The coaches of the camps have to have played pro in order to teach skills. The mentors are experts in other fields and share their success stories and insight. Jay asks the youth attendees to consider where they get their energy, as this is directly tied to where their passions lie. He encourages the youth to go deeper and create experiences in order to live their out their passions. Jay also teaches people to accept adversity along the way, prepare for it, and go through it. This helps them learn about themselves and what drives them. Jay has developed his own process of micromanaging goals, understanding the steps to get there, and the importance of getting started, which he now shares as a mentor. In his latest venture as an entrepreneur, he brings his design and coaching background to improving teams and products.
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Learn more about Jay’s Rise and Shine Foundation and Captains Camps at: https://www.theriseandshinefoundation.com
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