Jordan Harvey, an American soccer player, plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps as a left back. It wasn’t the plan, not at first, but sometimes life throws you a soccer ball.
Canadian Business: How did you become a professional soccer player?
Jordan Harvey: Initially I knew it was something I could pursue when I was about 18. I was going to go to college and get my degree, but I still wanted to play professionally. So then I got drafted and the first year or two was difficult, but I stuck with it and definitely developed. Around my third year I got my shot.
When did you make the decision?
My end goal wasn’t always to be a professional soccer player. It developed as I got older. My parents got me into team sports to get me to interact and have a good group of friends. I started to get a little more competitive once I showed that I had talent. I ended up going to a youth residency program with the youth national team. Then the goal ended up changing and being a way to get a scholarship to college.
I realized that this was definitely a profession that I would love to pursue. I obviously had a passion for the sport, and Major League Soccer was developing pretty rapidly at the time.
What’s the biggest misconception about your job?
I think a lot of people think it’s all glitz and glamour, but there’s a lot of things behind the scenes that people don’t realize that go on day-in and day-out, with treatment, with pre hab, with the post-game ice baths and bikes.
If not a soccer player, what would you be?
That’s something that I’m opening avenues to now so hopefully I can transition into the workforce after I’m done playing professionally. I have my degree in sociology from UCLA and I’m going to start taking coaching badges. Also, I have a passion for real estate.
What’s your typical day like?
I wake up, get a good meal in me, and then I’ll probably leave around 7:45 a.m. and get to the training centre around 8:15 a.m. That’s where the pre hab starts. I’ll do treatment with our trainers. I’ll roll out and get in the whirlpool to loosen up the muscles initially. And then we actually do pre hab as a team. Then we train for about two hours. After, we’ll normally have lunch then go to a weight session or one of the strengthening routines that we do. I’ll generally get home on an early day of the week around 3:30 p.m. Then it’s about getting to bed before 11 so you get eight hours of sleep so you can do it again.
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
I don’t think I would do much differently. As a youth soccer player, I think I had really good coaches, really good role models that taught me a lot about professionalism and taking care of myself and I feel like I did that early on. The only thing I would go back and teach myself is experience, which is something you can’t teach.