Eighteen-year-old Jackson Travis knew he wanted to become a professional soccer player when he was thirteen years old. He remembers deciding not to try out for the school baseball team because he wanted to focus only on soccer. Jackson devoted all his energy and effort to getting into the highest level of soccer possible, and he signed his first professional soccer contract at the age of 17.
Jackson realized that work ethic and discipline would be vital to achieving any level of success and knew that he would not be able to do normal high school things anymore if he wanted to reach his fullest potential in soccer. Jackson says, “You have to dedicate your time to improving your craft, whether on the field, in the gym, or in nutrition. You have to be able to want to work while nobody is watching. If you want to separate yourself from the rest, then you have to put in the work.”
As for Jackson’s training regime, he has a consistent daily routine. Jackson chose to remain in public school while doing his soccer training at Colorado Rapids Academy, so he gets to school early and immediately after his first class is off to train for a few hours in the morning. His training grounds are close to his school, so as soon as his first training session is over, he heads back to school for his last class of the day. After school, Jackson has a final training session for the day. “It’s pretty challenging during the day, but it allows me to remain in public school while being able to make all my training sessions.”
Jackson is most proud of signing his first professional contract when he was seventeen years old. He will be playing left-back. Just a few years ago, it was a goal at the top of his goal pyramid. In reaching this huge accomplishment, Jackson knows there is more in store, and he can go further if he continues to put in the hard work. Jackson says that he has had some excellent coaches in his life, but his biggest influence has been his older brother, Deon. “Being able to have Deon always getting me out of bed to go train, pushing me to train, and allowing me to train with him and his older friends really pushed me to get better, which has played a big role in getting me to where I am today.”
The best advice Jackson would give to any younger player is, “Have confidence in your play. In my opinion, confidence is everything. Confidence is stepping on the pitch and enjoying the ball at your foot. It’s playing freely and not being afraid to make a mistake. Confidence to believe in yourself when you may or may not feel that someone else has the same belief. If you lose confidence in yourself, everything else goes with it. So I say, always play with confidence and trust yourself.”
Jackson is grateful for all the coaches he has had over the years and MS Rush for all the growth and knowledge he gained there as a player of the club. Jackson also wants to thank Coach John Kehoe, as he has been an instrumental part of Jackson’s development and helped him get to where he is now. Jackson is also grateful for all the support from his parents, Jamie and Elnora, and siblings Deon and Elaysha Travis.