Feb. 23, 2023

Inform, Educate, Entertain with JP Dellacamera, Hall of Fame Soccer Broadcaster

Inform, Educate, Entertain with JP Dellacamera, Hall of Fame Soccer Broadcaster

In Episode 113, JP Dellacamera, Broadcaster of 16 World Cups and 3 Olympics, and so many other incredible games, husband, and father, talks with Phil and Paul about the life and leadership lessons he has learned over the course of his soccer...

In Episode 113, JP Dellacamera, Broadcaster of 16 World Cups and 3 Olympics, and so many other incredible games, husband, and father, talks with Phil and Paul about the life and leadership lessons he has learned over the course of his soccer broadcasting career, which has spanned six decades, his keys to a great broadcast, how his best call ever was only one word, how he learned about teamwork in a broadcasting booth, what he has learned from referees, dealing with controversy during broadcasts, recommendations on a special kind of sandwich, and how he is using lessons learned from the game in his MASL leadership position, his marriage, and his parenting. Specifically, JP discusses:

·      His personal story, including how a guy whose first love is hockey ended up being one of the most-known voices in US Soccer, and his journey to his current role as Director of Communications/Media for the Major Arena Soccer League (3:30)

·      Knowing how to handle both disappointment and success (7:16)

·      Why he doesn’t have a personal why/mission statement (9:49)

·      Who he is “working for” when broadcasting a game (11:43)

·      Three keys to a great broadcast (14:09)

·      The importance of not assuming that someone you want to meet and learn from is not accessible (16:13)

·      The defining moment in illustrious career and a lesson he learned from it that you don’t want to miss (17:47)

·      How to properly deal with controversial issues during broadcasts (24:16)

·      What he has learned from broadcasting soccer and talking with thousands of players, coaches, and referees over the course of multiple decades that he likely wouldn’t have learned playing and/or coaching the game (27:21)

·      How he is using lessons learned from the game of soccer is his leadership position with the MASL (30:24)

·      The power of saying “I don’t know” (33:34)

·      His thoughts on the good, bad, and ugly of the state of soccer in the US (35:51)

·      How we can attract better coaches to the younger levels (40:26)

·      How he has used lessons learned from the game in his parenting and marriage, including a different kind of sandwich that he highly recommends (43:17)

·      His recommendations (48:05)

Resources and Links from this Episode

·      Uncut Video of the Episode

·      HSEL Facebook Group

·      Warrior Way Soccer

·      Coaching the Bigger Game Program

·      Phil’s email for DISC Training

·      1999 World Cup Final (JP’s goal call at ~2:15:00)

·      Miracle on Ice (Al Michaels call)


Phil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks again for being a part of the conversation we got Paul Jobson, my co-host. I'm Phil Darke, you're a host, and today we have a lot of fun. I know it's gonna be a lot of fun coming your way. We got a great conversation with JP Dellacamera. JP has been broadcasting for probably almost as long as I've been alive, so he's been, he has been broadcasting a really, really long time, done 16 world Cups and in three Olympics and, and a whole lot more. And he is now the president of the Communications Media for Major Arena Soccer League.

before we get to JP, Paul, you're doing all right. You doing all right? Has, have you thought out yet from the last time we talked? You know, you were talking about some, some

[00:00:41] Paul: real cool. I know I, I need to a, for being so wimpy on the podcast the last two times, but we went from 30 degrees to 70 within a 24 hour period.

That's Texas for you. So, yeah, I love it. We're back into happy mode here in Waco, Texas. So yeah, a lot more positive uh, vibes coming from the Jobson [00:01:00] house now where the boys can run around outside and not come in like icicles. So yes, we're all good here, man. Things are great. Absolutely. I'm, I'm really excited to talk to JP today somebody that we probably all know or at least have heard in our, in our lifetime if we're true soccer fans.

So excited to uh, jump in with JP here, Phil, but how are, how are things in the Darke family?

[00:01:17] Phil: We're doing great too. You know, my, my daughter is continuing to play The Keeper, the backup emergency fourth keeper role on her varsity team there. Freshman stepping in, I'm very proud because, you know, I'm proud of her just stepping in as a freshman saying, I got it.

No problem. Let's do this. And uh, says a lot about her and her confidence and, and just her, her, her. Role as a teammate, you know, just saying they need it. Totally. I'll do it. Let's do it. You know, so that's one of the highlights for me. And we got a lot more, but I wanna get to it with JP, so, we're gonna do that now. JP, how you

[00:01:50] JP: doing? Doing great. You guys are talking about cold. I'm in Connecticut in the Northeast and it was close to zero when you factored in the wind chill for the past few [00:02:00]days. No snow here. So that part is great, but it's been bitter cold. We're looking forward to it, warming up a little bit this weekend.

Yeah, that's kind of the,

[00:02:08] Paul: you know, you know, you don't have to live in the north, right? Like there you could, you could come.

[00:02:13] JP: Yeah, I'm a Boston guy though. I'm a Boston guy. I don't have the accent anymore. Had to get rid of that in broadcasting school. But, you know, I've always been there. I've lived in different places, many different places across the country, some very nice places, but, you know, New England has, has really been my home for decades.

[00:02:31] Phil: Yeah. Yeah. Paul and I really show our wimp as he was talking about. I'm a northern California guy, born and raised in SoCal, and he's, you know, Texas now and has been in other warmer spots. And so, you know, we, we had Keeley Hagen on recent, you know, recently. And she, she was telling us her apple weather app said it was negative zero at that point.

As we said, it was the glass half empty weather app. Yeah. But you know, we wanna talk about things more important than weather here. So we wanna get right into it with you just as far as you love to [00:03:00] hear your story. We know kind of where we've, we've seen you on tv, we've seen you broadcast in these, these very important games.

But how did a guy whose first love is hockey, being a northeast boy end up being one of the most known voices in US soccer. And can you just share about that and just your story and your Sure. And how you got to be where you're at today?

[00:03:20] JP: Growing up in Boston, back in the day, you, you wouldn't believe it today where the New England Patriots are, but they were the Boston Patriots then, and they couldn't sell out games.

They were looking for new ownership all the time. Celtics were winning championships, couldn't fill their building. Red Sox were the Red Sox, you know, say no more there. The Bruins were number one. So I grew up as a hockey fan. Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Derek Sanderson. Ironically, my favorite player was Sanderson, who was a bit of a disturber.

Chippy guy. Cocky guy none of which I had ever considered myself to be. So he was like the anti-me and I rooted for him, like that was my favorite player. But the Bruins sold out all the [00:04:00] time, televised every game, including back in those days, games on the West Coast. Nobody else was really doing that.

So I grew up as a hockey. Started off the way everybody else did. Minor league hockey. I was in the minor leagues with guys that you would know today from the N H L, including Doc Emrick, who was one of the greatest of all time, if not the greatest. And I spent 10 years looking for an N H L job and never was able to land one.

Back in those days, NHL was much smaller than it is today. Maybe one or two jobs would open up each year. I had a shot at a, a few of them never got it. And then one day I thought about making a change, and that's what I did. Indoor soccer was two hours away in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And for me, that was a game-changing experience.

I, I wanted, after 10 years of, don't even know how many minor league bus trips I made, how many miles were, were on my body. But, but so many and, and I [00:05:00] thought I may never get a break. And I always loved soccer. Thought the indoor soccer was like, Hockey, hockey on grass, if you will. And I thought I could call it almost the same way.

So auditioned for it. Got it. And it was a big game changer for me because I went from, when I was working in minor league hockey, I was in Erie, Pennsylvania. We won three straight championships. Taught me a lot about, you know, winning and teamwork and sacrifice and all that success. But we and I big fish in a small pond in Erie, Pennsylvania.

We went from that to being a small fish in the ocean in Pittsburgh. And it was a great experience. It's where I really cut my teeth in indoor soccer. And then got one break after another, one door opened, took it, ended up doing my first World Cup in 1986. And then I would say the rest is history, but it all started mostly with the indoor soccer.

[00:05:59] Phil: Yeah. [00:06:00] You know, and I, I know a lot of people back in the day getting, and even even that's a good lesson. We talk with another another friend about taking that we, that episode was called Take the Meeting. Right. Just take the opportunity when it op, when it presents itself, when that door opens, walk through it, even if it's not exactly what you're looking for, because you never know where it would lead.

Right. I mean, who knew it would lead to where you are today? But I, you know, I always remember, I remember those games, I remember those in indoor soccer games, the California Surf back in the day, and the NASL, and then you're playing at Anaheim Convention Center. I was a little ball boy for that team.

And, you know, and just remembering the as they say, never despise small beginnings, right. Because to go from that to where it is today as far as MLS and the US soccer and all that, we're gonna talk about that later in the episode. But I, I love that. And, and have you, what would you. Recommend or suggest to somebody who's, you know, maybe where you were back then as far as, it's a different world today.

It's a different thing, but what principles remain the same as far as the industry, as far [00:07:00] as taking the opportunity and just really not, you know, like I said, not despising the small beginnings, cuz you're probably gonna

[00:07:06] JP: have 'em. Yeah. I, I think first of all, you have to believe in yourself and, and have a lot of patience because I think the longer you're in this business, the more bad things could happen to you and will happen to you, but also the more good things that will happen to you.

You have to be able to balance that, you know, handle the disappointment the same way you, you handle the success. And don't let any, any one moment, good or bad define you. A lot of really talented people have given up in the business because they didn't get an opportunity and, and maybe they were in a financial situation where they couldn't continue to pursue it.

I would encourage anyone who believes in themselves, who has a goal. If you can stay with it, you might have to take a step back. Maybe you do it part-time and hope that it leads to full-time, but if you really believe in yourself and think you can get it done, don't give up on it unless you really have to.


[00:07:59] Paul: Yeah, I mean, [00:08:00] JP, I mean, I think you see that, you know, just in sports in general, you know, when you, you hit the next level, how resilient are you at the next level? How much do you really love what you're doing? And when you hit that next level, I think you start to realize how much you either really do love it and you're willing to do the work or you're not.

How much of that played into, to your career? I mean, how much did you just really love what you were doing and what played into that? Was it were the people you were around or just that ultimate belief in yourself and what you felt like you

[00:08:26] JP: were supposed to? I think Paul, you always, you always hear people say in this business anyway I don't feel like it's a job, you know, it feels like fun.

It's, it's what I want to do. I'd be the last person to complain about how much work is involved, how much travel is involved, because it's a great gig and I've loved every minute of it. And I think that I'm always learning. I, I think if I thought that I knew it all today, I should get out. Because why?

Why keep doing it? Are you doing it for the money? You know, I'm doing it because I love what I do. [00:09:00] I will be terrible in retirement and whenever that day comes, I don't even like to say the word because , I don't have any hobbies. Like, this is my hobby, this is my life. I know it's still a lot of work, but I've never looked at it as work.

You know, it's research and that's what I would tell, you know, college kids that complain about homework, don't go into this business if you're complaining about homework, because it's all about the homework. And then, you know, your test, your final exam is the game itself. Yeah. I like

[00:09:30] Paul: that. That leads really well into kinda my next question for you is, you know, you talked about why, what, what is your why?

What is your personal why? What is your life purpose and, and, and how

[00:09:39] JP: are you living that out? Nobody's ever asked me that. I, I don't think I ever think about it. You know, I think your, your, your goal is to be the best person that you can be. You know, try to help others who need help, try to lead as best a life as you can.

But I've never thought about it because I think if you have to think about that, think if, you have to think about how do [00:10:00] I become a good person or a better person? Seems. You need some help, right? It, it should be, should be easy, right? Should be easy to be a nice person. Be nice to everybody. It should be easy.

So I think that's why I've never thought about it. I try to lead as, as good a life as I can, help others when I can. And in this business, I think there's a lot of people, a lot of broadcasters you may be surprised at that will help anybody, you know, if, if they're just asked, we're always getting asked by somebody to listen to a tape or can you recommend or can you put in a good word for me?

And, and I found that not just myself, a lot of people in my business will do that for a lot of young people. I think that's great.

[00:10:43] Paul: Yeah, JP, that's, that's great. I, I found that to be, to be true just in the time I've been around and I, I know people, not at your level necessarily, but people in that industry that are just, they're so giving of their, their time.

You tell they really love what they do because they want to pour into to those that are around it. Having been a [00:11:00] coach and, and asking of, of those guys time after time of things and, and hoping in response, I'm being as, as good to them as they are to me. And I think sometimes sometimes you guys can take the brunt of things being, being the voice of something or the face of something.

But there's, there's a lot. I, I agree with you, the folks I've interacted with that are really good at their job, truly do love the people that they're working with, and I think sometimes feel like they're, they're working with and working for those that they're, they're broadcasting with. Is that, is that accurate?

Like when you're broadcasting a, a national team game, do you. , you're working with the national team, but also kind of working for those national team players or whoever you're

[00:11:33] JP: broadcasting. Sure. I, I think I'm working for a lot of people. You know, when I, when I'm working, when I, when I did the last 13 years with the Philadelphia Union, you know, I'm not just working for the Philadelphia Union, I'm working for myself.

I'm working for anybody that's tuning into the game. You know, the great fans of Philadelphia that were watching us on TV or, or listening on the radio or on the internet, or, you know, however they gathered up Philadelphia Union information. You [00:12:00] know, you do the best that you can. Be as honest as you can.

You know, when you're, when you're calling games, but you're working for a lot of people and, and if you're doing a game, you know, that's a national team game, then your audience is, is further expanded, right? You've got a country that's, that's rooting for your national team to win. It doesn't put any more pressure on you, you know, you just.

You're just calling the game. You know, it's fun for me to do those games. I enjoy the games. I enjoy, you know, the better games more I would say than the bad games. Like we've all watched bad games in any sport, you know, there have been bad Super Bowls, there have been bad World Cups, but you still enjoy what you do.

Just the better the game, obviously the more you're gonna enjoy it, especially the games that now live on in history. Right. Decades ago there were probably some great broadcasters and we don't even get to hear them anymore because there, there was no YouTube, there was no internet. There's no way to, to go back [00:13:00] and find this.

But now, since whatever year you want to say the eighties, nineties, everything is recorded. So everything lives. . Yeah. The good, the good and the bad. . Yes.

[00:13:10] Phil: Right. . Well, and

[00:13:12] JP: there's so much, hopefully, hopefully more good. Yeah. Right. More good. Yes.

[00:13:15] Phil: Well, I mean, you think about that even as you're talking about that I imagine other people did what I did, which was go back and just think of those moments, right?

Those, the, the miracle on ice, right? I mean, that will, you could just close your eyes and picture it and listen and you hear it, right? And that's just part of, and I think that's what a great broadcaster like yourself is, is part of that, where you are just part of that game. It's not, you're not distracting from it.

You're not, you know, you're, you're hopefully adding to it a little bit to making it more, but it, it's someone that is there that's just part of it, instilled in that. And, and I, I think that that's something that is, is yeah, I'm, I, I, that's what I was thinking about at that point. I, I imagine our, our, our audience was as well.

Yeah. You

[00:13:59] JP: wanna be embellishing the game as an announcer, you are not the story. You're not the show. Mm-hmm. people are not tuning in to watch you. They're tuning in to watch the event and you don't wanna ruin the event for them. You don't wanna spoil the event. You want to help them to understand the event, I guess.

So, inform, educate, entertain are the three things that to me, make up a great show. If you can do two of those well, whichever two of those are, it's probably a good show. Maybe a very good show. If you can hit all three, it's probably a great show. You just don't wanna get in the way or ruin a big event, a big moment.

You know, Al Michaels was perfect. Imagine if we didn't have video of that. Right. You know, one of the greatest calls in the history of sports and, and one of the greatest announcers of all time. Yep. Right. Al Michaels. Absolutely. Absolutely. And if we didn't have that video and, and like you were saying, you can picture it, you can close your eyes, you can picture it, you can hear his voice, you can hear his call.

Yep. [00:15:00]

[00:15:00] Phil: Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, the other, the other lesson too that I, that I heard in those answers were the idea of leaders are learners, right? As you said, you're, you're never stopping learning. And that's, that's so huge. Cause a lot of people say, well, you're at the apex. Like, what, what do you have?

And a lot of people will do that, but you look at the best of the best and they are continually learning in the game. You know, look, look, Cristiano Ronaldo is a guy who never stops training, never stops learning. You know, the Messi's the other guys, those guys are continually, and, and everyone would say, well, you're the best.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's how they got there. That's how they're gonna stay there. But the other was the accessibility part, because as you said, I'm. I like to make myself available to people. And I think a lot of people need to hear that to understand that the people who can hopefully teach you and you can learn from most of them are accessible.

If they're people you'd want to actually learn from, reach out to 'em, you know, and it might be they have to, they have to go through a couple people. It might be that you have to do some different things, but reach out to people and give them the chance to say, no, [00:16:00] don't just assume a no. Right. Would you speak to that?

[00:16:03] JP: Yeah. Unless you ask somebody, right? I mean, you might think as a, as a, a youth coach your team is playing. Paul, you said you're in Texas, right? Yes. Mm-hmm. , I mean, you might be a high school coach. You've got FC Dallas there, and you might think, well, there's no way they're gonna let me watch a training session.

Well, there might be, you know, if you ask if. Send 'em an email, make a phone call, talk to pr. You know, you're an aspiring high school or college coach and you just love to sit in a session. You might be surprised at the answer because these guys were in your position maybe at another time in their life and somebody opened a door for them, let them coach in their academy or with the youth team, and now, now they're the coach of their m MLS team.

You might be surprised that they'll say, come on in. What's your schedule can't hurt. Right. And if they say, no, nothing ventured nothing gain. That's right.

[00:16:56] Phil: It's like I tell my kids if, you know, worst they can say is no. And they're in your exactly the spot you [00:17:00] were before you asked. So don't worry about it.

And if they say yes, who knows what can happen with that. Yep. So, it kind of goes to the fixed mindset versus growth mindset, all those things we've talked about on this show. But, but I wanna kind of move on to the. Next thing actually goes to the, similar to what we've talked, we've talked about a lot of defining moment.

I mean, you, you could go a list of the different people. All the people need to do is, is Google you to get all the, all the bio, all the history, all the different games that you've, you've done, which is of some amazing, incredible games and, and moments in US soccer and, and global soccer as well. But what would you say is the defining moment in your career, and, and why was it so impactful?

What did you learn from it?

[00:17:37] JP: Uh, 1999 Women's World Cup women's World Cup final I, I think for sure is the defining moment. If you asked anybody else, it was the best goal call of my life and the shortest one.All I said was goal, because I had already set it up that if, if Chastain had scored, you know, that they would.

I didn't want to talk over those amazing pictures. I thought the show was [00:18:00] well produced, well directed, and, and that's the director's moment to shine the cutaways, you know, showing the, the joy of the US players, the fans, the disappointment of China as it was a big game for them as well. Again, it's a, it's a big moment and, and you don't want to ruin that moment, but that would be the defining moment for me.

And, and for a lot of reasons, remember what it did. It was a defining moment for women's soccer, a defining moment for soccer in general. Remember, US men had finished last at the World Cup one year before that, and it was a defining moment for women's sports. Un until recently, I think it was the 2015 Women's World Cup that Fox did.

I mean, the ratings, the numbers were staggering. Yeah. For sports, not, not for women, for sports. And, and they were mainstream. You know, the players were doing commercials. They were on the David Letterman show. Cbs b s News was covering them, like [00:19:00] everybody was covering them. That was that was a milestone moment.

And probably the interesting part about that, guys, is that when I do interviews and I'm asked, you know, did I know at that time how big it was? You know, the answer is no. I knew it was big, but when you're doing it, it's in the moment. You're not thinking anything other than this is the moment. Uh, But if you asked me that day when the game was over, like how big it was, I still wouldn't have known how big it was.

Five years later, 10 years later. Today, you know, we're talking about it today. That was 1999. This is 2023. We're still talking about it. That's how big it was. And if you had asked me that day, I would never have known that we would still be talking about that, cuz maybe other moments would've surpassed it.

But you always remember that, that first big one there. And I would say that was the one. Hmm.

[00:19:59] Phil: Yeah, that's so, I [00:20:00] mean that's so good and I think one of the things there that stuck out to me is just less is more sometimes

[00:20:06] JP: without a doubt in broadcasting. A hundred percent you, I've always told younger people study for as you know, as long as you can, you'll, you should know one of the hardest things to know, I would say, unless you've done this for a long time, is when to shut it down.

Because there's so much information out there today. When I did the 1986 World Cup you'd have to tell me, I don't remember this, but I don't think we had computers then. You know, we didn't have internet. for sure. Mm-hmm. , I'm trying to remember how we even got game notes. Whereas today, there's so much information out there that you really have to know when to shut it down.

Your, your brain, your mind can only consume so much and you're only gonna use about 30% max of what you study for. So imagine studying for X amount of hours and knowing that only 30% of what you use should be used. I would say if you used [00:21:00] more, you've talked too much during the game. 30%. That's not a lot.

That's, it's a small number when you think about it, but there's so much information out there. But today, much, much easier in some ways to do the job because there's so much out there. But it's also complicated by the fact that when do ya, when do ya stop, and which media websites are, are the more accurate, you know, on Twitter.

Everybody brags about Twitter, but how much wrong stuff right is out on Twitter, you know what I mean? Because people wanna get the news, get the sports out as quickly as they can, and worry about the facts sometimes later, unfortunately. So you've gotta know what you're reading, what's the source, how credible is it?

And, and when do I, when do I stop? Especially if you've got in a World Cup or Olympics where you've got maybe five games in five days. If you don't know when to turn it off, it's not gonna be a good [00:22:00] experience for you. That's

[00:22:00] Phil: right. That's right. And I, you know, you just, you just described there the most important thing I learned in law school, which is when to stop researching.

Because you could, you could research forever. And there's, there's so much, and like you said, I mean, you basically described it what's credible, what's not. How can, you know, how can you distinguish? Those are things that are so important for literally anything that you do. Coaches listen to that. There's so much garbage on YouTube and there's so much great stuff on YouTube, right?

Right. To know the difference is one of the most important things you can learn. Right.

[00:22:30] JP: And I think you don't know that right away. Of course. You know, so you have to learn that, right? Mm-hmm. , over time you'll know, you know who to trust who and what to trust and, and also what not to trust. And, and I think one of the hardest parts, I don't know if you have this with the, with the legal stuff, is that, you know, you read, you read some great stat, and while you're doing your research, you come up with something else that contradicts that stat that you just read. Now you, you've got two different stories, [00:23:00] which one is right? So you gotta try to find a. A third source, you know, whatever that is. And if you can't, don't use that stat because you got a 50/50 shot of that being right. I don't like those odds. I, I've gotta be in the nineties, you know, before I want to use something 50/50, I, I just drop it.

It's not worth putting on air. Yeah,

[00:23:22] Paul: yeah, yeah. That's, that's gotta be crazy, especially being in a, maybe in a World Cup and there's, there's so many, I would think distractions too, of, of news. Things that maybe even call it gossip. Things that are going on behind the scenes that aren't even really soccer related, that, you know, get out there because of social media that maybe didn't 15 years ago that, you know, and you're like, well, is that really worth even talking about?

Other people may be talking about it, but it's probably not something that you're gonna bring up on a, on a broadcast cuz you're trying to be true to the game itself and not be distracting. I'm sure those are not probably for you, difficult things to navigate, but I'm sure with some of the younger guys and girls coming through that, you know, because [00:24:00] it's the hot button on the social media sites, but it may not be the thing that needs to be discussed during a broadcast.

Right. You

[00:24:06] JP: know, I think the hardest part, Paul, is that, you know, first of all, you'll always hear things off the record. If you hear something off the record, you cannot say it. There's no way you can say it or you, you won't get that information again. And some of the best things that I've learned have been off the record, right?

So you have to know that also what's important to the viewer and, and how much, how much can you say about it? So you'll have conversations, you'll have meetings with producers like where I work at Fox now, you know, they'll give you guidance and direction on, you know, what can we say, you know, how, how should we address this controversial topic?

Don't hide from it, but, you know, what can we say? And, and also realizing that when people tune in to watch a game, they're really tuning in to watch the game, right? Mm-hmm. . That's my opinion. They, they wanna watch the game. So the more you can talk about the game and focus on the game is great. If there's a controversial [00:25:00] story, how do you, how do you weave it in without, not alienating the viewer, but without distracting the viewer, right?

Because you don't want to be doing a game and have somebody say, later all they talked about was this, you know, I had to turn it off. All they kept talking about was that controversy. I wanted to know more about the game. So those are the things that you juggle, I guess. And I think the more you, the more you do this, the more you know, you know, you know the balance, right?

The more you do it. But for somebody young that's coming in and there's controversy, I could see where that, that could be a, an overwhelming moment for them. But they'll. .

[00:25:41] Paul: Yeah, it's funny jp, I've had some moments like that where I've had to turn off broadcasters having been a college coach for almost 20 years and having to watch college broadcasters a lot of young up and coming broadcasters and like, man, okay, I'm not really listening anyway, I'm watching the game, I'm analyzing film.

I'm probably should be watching the, the televised game anyway, but it has some of the best shots, you [00:26:00] know, action and, and tell and camera angles and I sometimes I just have to turn 'em off cuz there's nothing about the game going on. But it's interesting that you even even throw that out there. But, you know, you talked a little bit about the defining moment of, of 99, which I re, I I remember and, and how it, it really kind of birthed a league, which is kind of how Phil and I met, you know, with, with my wife playing in Atlanta.

And you were there quite a bit. And I remember 86 you said that was your first broadcast. I was actually a funny. , I was watching the World Cup in the house of Clint Mathis in 1986. They were the only house that had the satellite dish that could bring in the World Cup into our little town. So we're sitting on his floor, which is funny, thinking now like what a great player he was for the us.

And you've called his matches as well. Yep. But in, in, in all the matches that you've done, you've, you've, you've broadcast matches, you've talked to great players, you've talked to great coaches, you've maybe talked to not great players and not great coaches. You've kind of, you've kind of done it all in that as you've kind of watched the game and, and learned the game.

What are, what are some [00:27:00] lessons that you think you've learned from watching and analyzing the game that maybe, maybe you wouldn't have learned having played the game, if that makes sense. What are some, some life lessons you feel like you learned from the game of soccer as a

[00:27:11] JP: broadcaster? Uh, For sure the teamwork part of it.

You know, it's, it's never, it's never a one person thing, you know? Being from New England, Tom Brady is the goat. No question about it. Yeah. Tom Brady will always credit, you know, his teammates. You know, he won seven Super Bowls. He didn't win 'em by himself. He's always credited, you know, his teammates, when we used to interview Mia Hamm, it was never a good interview because he wanted Mia to talk about herself, and she would never do that.

She would always talk about Julie and Carla and Brandy and Joy and Christine, you know, Brianna. That's it. So I'm thinking, well, that's not a good interview. You know, I, I wanna know why Mia Hamm is like the greatest, right? So I think that's what you learn, that it is a team game. When we do a broadcast I'm really [00:28:00] only as good as the person that's beside me.

I, I never wanted to do a game where somebody said, you know, you are really good. But the analyst was not, because that's a reflection of me. I'm supposed to get the best out of the analyst, so I would always enjoy the compliments. That said, I enjoyed listening to you two guys. Or if it was a woman I enjoyed listening to you and whoever, whoever the woman was that I was working with, right?

Because it was a team. And even to the point where I, I don't like it when somebody would say, well, you guys sounded great, but who produced that game? Or who directed that game? The pictures were all over the place. You wanted somebody to say That was a great show. And I think that's what they said about the 1999 Women's World Cup final.

But it is a team. And when I got my Colin Jose Media Award in the, at the Hall of Fame in Frisco in 2018, 1 of the great off the field moments for me in my speech, I said that that award was for, and I listed. [00:29:00] all these jobs, right? From stage manager to audio, to producer, to director, to analyst, to all the people that, that helped me because I consider that a team award. So I think that's what I learned in sports. It started when I was with the Erie Blades. We won those three straight championships. I saw what it took, you know, to get there. I saw the sacrifice, the hard work, the dedication, and the fact that you don't win three straight titles in any sport with one person. You know, Michael Jordan, greatest for me of all time, but without the other guys there, without Scotty Pippen, without Steve Kerr. Dennis Rodman, does he win all of those titles? I don't think so. No. Nope.

[00:29:46] Phil: That's so good. I mean, you know, that, that leads, I think right into the next uh, thing we wanna talk about.

Here is, now you're the president of Communications Media for Major Arena Soccer League. What lessons [00:30:00] did you take from the game, the actual game of soccer as you've been broadcasting for over these years and learning about all that you just talked about, and what have you taken from that and are now using that in your leadership of the MASL?

And how are you using those

[00:30:14] JP: lessons? That's a good question. I think with, with the old MISL, if we go back to those days it was the Premier League in this country. We had no outdoor soccer, so that was number one. So the first thing I, I learned when I, when I took over with, with the MASL, when people would say, you think you'll get it back to where it was?

No, that's not realistic because Major League Soccer, 29 teams now they could have as many teams probably as they want. Very successful now MLS. And so the best players that come to this country are gonna play there. You also have USL, you know, you have NWSL. You can watch any game in any country in the world right now on your laptop, on [00:31:00] your smartphone, on your tv, whatever that is.

And we didn't have that back then. So indoor soccer, first lesson I learned don't have unrealistic expectations. It is never going to be what it was. It can't be, there's, there's too many other things that are going on, but can it be better than what we inherited? A hundred percent. So our goal when we started this was to, and this is our second year.

First year, we said we wanna improve everything that we do by 30%. We thought that was realistic. And in some cases we did more than 30%. In, in others, maybe slightly less. Right now we have a 14 team league, two teams in Mexico. 14 different owners, I'm sure you know, in the N F nfl, in the N B A, in the N H L that say the same thing.

I mean, there's deeper pockets there for sure, but they would probably say it's a diverse group of owners. You know, some wanna spend as much money as they can. Some want to do the bare minimum, some want to tank for the draft choices, whatever that is, right? You don't have [00:32:00]everybody thinking on the same page.

So I think taking over this league with Keith Tozer, Shep Messing, and myself all friends, all fans of the indoor game we thought let's make changes when we can, where we can, let's try to get owners if we can, to think league first, not team first. And in, in some ways we've made some inroads there, but I think it started guys with more of a realistic expectation, right?

It's, it's not. The old MISL, nor is it the NHL, nor is it the NBA, you know? And so you've gotta, you've gotta find your place. And that's what we're trying to do. And I think there is a place, there's definitely a place for indoor soccer in our landscape. I think the thing that pleased me the most was what we saw in the field of play.

I mean, these guys are really good, you know, it's not like, Jungal and, and Terlecki and Segota and Tatu of the past, but these guys are very good at what they do. Yeah.

[00:32:59] Phil: You know, and you, you [00:33:00] know, Paul threw out and name dropped Clint Mathis and, you know, watching the World Cup with him, you know, just cause that's what Paul does.

No, he actually doesn't sound, he's a name dropper. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It was just, that's what, that's, I know, I, I wasn't gonna say it, but since you brought it up, I've heard it. Um, But I, I went to the Shep Messing goalkeeper camp at uc, Santa Barbara back in the day. So there it is, you know. Nice.

Since you brought up Shep, I thought I'd just throw that out there, you know, that's all I got. That's all I got. So,

[00:33:24] JP: oh, Shep is great. He is a longtime friend. I've always said he is the smartest guy I know. I will always ask his opinion on anything, and if he doesn't know, he will tell me he doesn't know.

And those are the smartest people. That is good because I've never, never known anyone, anyone that's known at all. I've, I've met people that thought they knew it all, . But when somebody says to you, I, I really don't know that, that tells you something, right? They're not making it up. , they, and, and Shep will tell me, Hey, I really don't know.

Maybe you should ask this person. That's not my [00:34:00] area of expertise. But remember, Shep is Harvard educated, so mm-hmm. smart guy.

[00:34:05] Phil: Yeah. That's one of the best answers you can give if you actually don't know.

[00:34:08] JP: Yeah. . It's just nothing wrong with that. Right? Yeah. There's nothing wrong with with, with that. I, I've had people say to me, well, you've done this for so long, you must have experienced this.

And I've said, honestly, I, I have not, you know, surprisingly, maybe, but I have not, and, and therefore I can only, I can give you an opinion of what I would do if it happened to me, but it's, it's just a guess because it's not happened to me. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:34:33] Paul: You're on a podcast where we're, we're talking about leadership.

That's, that's a great leadership lesson in, in itself. Sometimes not knowing and, and being able to admit that you don't know is a, is a great leadership attribute. And

[00:34:44] JP: isn't that Paul, how you learn? Isn't that how you learn? Oh, absolutely. Because if you don't know it, , how many times do you say to a a, a wife or a child?

You know, I, I'm not sure about that. Let me google that , but we couldn't Google in the eighties. Right, right. Yeah. But you can Google now, [00:35:00] so if, if there's information that you need, Google it, you'll get the answer. Yeah,

[00:35:05] Paul: yeah, yeah. And I, I like to add to that, like, well, and when you find that out, can you please let me know too, , because I'd like now, now I, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Wouldn't the answer to that, you know? Sure. So, you know, JP w with your experience through US soccer, just soccer in general, just over the years and how you've seen it grow and develop and kind of ebb and flow, you know, from the youth ranks up to professional to international, what are some things that, that you see, maybe some trends that you see that you really like the direction that, that the game is going, and maybe some things that you see where you're like, you know, I'm not sure if we should be going this direction.

Yeah. As a, as a country, as we look at the development and growth of, of US soccer,

[00:35:41] JP: I think from a national team level, you see. them starting at, at younger ages, you know, whatever that is, whether it's under 15, under fourteens, whatever that is. I think, I think years ago you never thought about those players, perhaps or that age group and, and the men's side and the women's side.[00:36:00]

So I, I think youth soccer has grown to the point where they're looking at younger players and being able to develop them on both sides, right? There's, there's been more tournaments that they've entered into more dollars being spent there. I, I think that part of it is great. More administrative help.

Before Ernie Stewart left, you know, you had Ernie Stewart, you had Brian McBride, you had Kate Markgraf, you know, three people in, in high level positions. Whereas before, if you go back several years ago, you had like maybe one person, you know, now you had three of them in those positions. So I, I think that's been a plus.

They have, they have been successful with bringing in various coaches. I think if I had to think about anything that was negative, I, I think we have to find, find a way to get more experienced coaches. Cuz I've always heard players say this, that you want the better coaches at the youngest levels to [00:37:00]teach them, right?

Because at a certain point whatever that age is that you wanna say, you know, you're done in, in terms of learning how to play, right. The rest of it is, is playing, right? So, I've heard people say that maybe some of the better coaches should be on the, on the youngest of teams. And when you think about that, that's not where the glamor is, right?

Like, if you wanna spend money on somebody, it's, it's with a full national team, right? Or the under 20 threes or under eighteens or whatever level you want to take, not somebody that's. 10 or 12 years old, but you know, when did guys like Messi develop? Not at the age of 16, you know? Mm-hmm. , definitely not at the age of 16.

So I, I think that's something to, to think about for the future, but I think we have to figure out a way to get our young players, boys and girls that don't have the financial means to be involved in the game. I, I think we're missing a lot of players in a lot of areas. I [00:38:00] mean, we've got 50 states, right?

You can't tell me that there's not kids in some of these states that we don't talk about much. You know, smaller states can't tell me that we don't have, maybe the next Messi is there, right? Mm-hmm. , you know, maybe the next Messi is, is somewhere in Florida or Texas or California, and we don't know about that person, boy or girl, because they don't have the money to invest in the sport. So I, I think we need to find a way, you know, you always hear the, the pay-to-play formula and all that. I think we do miss a lot of people, potential stars, not role players, potential stars because they, their parents can't afford to play.

If you guys have had kids in youth soccer, you know what it costs, you know what uniforms cost. You know what travel costs, somebody's paying for coaching. It's tough if, if you have a child that that economics in the family don't seem to work for them where they can do that sort of [00:39:00] thing. We need to bring those in, bring those players in.

So whether that's scholarship money some kind of financial aid, whether it's corporate sponsorship, whatever it is, that's the thing. The missing piece for me. .

[00:39:14] Phil: Yeah. I don't think you're alone on that. We've had a lot of, a lot of guests talk about that. We actually had Tim Ryerson on who's trying with the Get on the Bus program, which is a great program to be able to get kids from.

Cause that's the other thing is even if scholarships, how do they get there? So transportation's an issue. There's all these, there's all these things that I, I actually hadn't thought about until we had, you know, a couple guys on talking about that issue. And, and so it's something that there's so many pieces to the puzzle that, yeah, we gotta figure 'em out or we are gonna miss a lot of people and people wonder why we can't compete with this and that and the other country.

And, and that's a big part of it. It's just identification and being able to keep those kids in the game. And I love that idea of training. My, my wife is a, a, you know, K through eight. PE teacher [00:40:00]and to think about how we can get those great people to the younger ages. I mean, every school teacher is saying Amen.

Um, Right. You know, pay more. How do we pay those people who are developing the next generation right. Better so that we can attract better to those, to those

[00:40:16] JP: areas. Right. Well, you do have to, you do have to pay more, right. To get that, that player right. Because the better the player probably the, the better team that he wants to coach.

Right? So what would make you know, name a name, a terrific player, what would make him want to coach under eights or under twelves if he, if he could coach. 18 year old to 21 year old players. Right. It has to be, you know, the money and, and the perks. It has to be something Right. To get them to want to do that, because it's not easy to coach right.

At that level. Right. It takes a certain, certain person, you know, we talked about balance before. Right. How do you, how do you balance, you know, what's too much for somebody that's 8, 9, [00:41:00] 10 years of age? I, I think one of the things that we do is we, we burn kids out. Mm-hmm. , you know, it's gotta be fun for the kid.

Right. If it's not fun for the kid, they're not staying, you know, you can, you guys know more about youth soccer than probably I will ever know, but at some age, whatever that age is, they're out because it's too much for them. You know? The coach hasn't made it fun. It's work. It shouldn't be work for an eight year old, nine year old, 10 year old, 12 year old, you know, winning isn't everything at that age, right? There's so many stories where you, you've heard people say, you know, my son who's six years old is a great left back. He's a left back at six . Isn't he just a defender or a midfielder or he'll, he'll play wherever he's versatile. He's a left back at six. You pigeonholed him into him or her at that age.[00:42:00]

You know, there is no six year old left back. You know if Yep. If there is that, that's over coaching to me. Yeah. .

[00:42:09] Phil: All right. Absolutely not gonna get an argument here. Not gonna get an argument here on that one at all. No. I mean, heck, we just talked about my daughter. I trained her at 10 years old to play keeper cuz you never know when your team might need one and who knew four years later her team would need a fourth keeper.

You know? So, no, the Niners can talk about that right now too. We're not gonna talk about football the American quarter. Oh, the quarterbacks should be. Yeah. The quarterback thing. Oh yeah. You know, you never know. Running back, almost playing quarterback in a n ffc championship game. It's, you never know, right?

So, no, you better learn all the positions cuz your team might need it someday. So, and that goes back to being a student of the game and all that stuff too, is to be able to understand the game. You should be able to play anywhere. But we're gonna, we're gonna shift gears now, kind of finish it up, bring it home.

We always ask these questions of our guests and I'd love to hear your, your answers of this. With all the lessons you've learned from, directly from the game you know, how are you using those lessons? We've talked about how you use 'em in, in your, in your [00:43:00] broadcasting, how you use 'em in the MASL leadership, but how have you used them in your marriage, parenting, other relationships outside the game?

[00:43:07] JP: I think you just try to be a role model in, in any way that you can with, with kids. You know, my kids are are older now but I think they would be, they would be better able to tell you like how I was as a parent. I think they knew that, that I was strict when I needed to be and, and knew when to like, loosen the reins, knew when to make it fun didn't want to pressure them.

Uh, It's their life to lead, you know, if this is what they want to be when they grow up, you know, this is what they, they want to be. So, I, I think, I think you always have to have a balance. And, and one of the things that I, I learned is, and I learned this very early on in my career, when, when you talk to people, you start with a compliment.

Hmm. Cuz that's easier to take the criticism that, that may be coming. So instead of telling someone [00:44:00] something that they didn't do, well start with, I like what you did with this, but they're more likely the but's coming. They know the but's coming. Probably when you give the compliment. But they're more likely to receive it.

You know, 19, sometime in the eighties. I was doing St. Louis steamers games, and the president of Bud Sports, who was doing the games at the time, said to me I'm paraphrasing, but he said something like, really enjoy listening to you, love the work that you do. You make it exciting. Kept going on and on, and I'm thinking, this is great but there was a but, and, and he said, but he said, I, if you want to be better than you are, if you wanna reach the highest levels, I could help you. There's, there's something so you could improve on. So now he's got me. And I said, what was that? And he said, you need to work your analyst into the game more.

And I said to him, well, I, I, I [00:45:00] thought I'd do that. He said, you do, but I, he said, I, I wanna make you better. He said, and the better he sounds, , the better you both sound. Mm-hmm. . And that was ingrained in me. You know, first he started with a compliment, so he had me and then he told me what I needed to do.

And even when I pushed back and said, I, I thought I was doing that, he said, you are, but if you want to take it to the next level, this is what you have to do. And so I think I've always been about that, you know, try to do the compliment part first. And the way I've lived life, I guess, and, and in sports as well, it's risk reward.

Everything to me is risk reward. I, I would do that, you know, with marriage, with parenting. Everything is risk reward. You know, what, what's the good that can come with this? What's the bad that can come with this? And if, if the risk is, you know, too great, it's much greater than the, than reward, not doing it.

And it's [00:46:00] the same with and if anybody asks me that question, like whether it's my kids as kids or as adults or friends, it's usually the same advice that I give to them. If they're not sure what they want to do, what's the risk, what's the reward? And they'll figure it out. There's so much good there.

Good lesson for

[00:46:19] Paul: sure. I like the, we call the compliment sandwich, JP, we always finalize with a compliment too, which like that usually means that, and, and if you do that, you could be much better, kinda like you said. So I, I like that compliment up front the but and then finish with a compliment. It's a good compliment sandwich.

It's easier to eat that way.

[00:46:34] JP: I, I like that. I I may use that if you don't mind. Pause, feel free. But it's funny how, how you remember so many things in life. It, it's like when your parents would say something, you know, you would always say boy, . I don't believe that. You know, or I, I hope I, I hope I don't say those things when I become a parent,

And then you're in a situation, you know, you say something and you think, oh my God, I've heard that before. That [00:47:00] was my father. You know? Or that was my mother. They said that to me. Right? And so it's amazing the things that you remember. I, I remember that conversation. I remember where I was. It was like I said, a St.

Louis Steamers game. It was in a press box, and I remember all of that. And yet there are some conversations years later you just don't remember them as as well. Right? So he did it the right way, you know, he did it probably that sandwich way, like, like you're saying. He started with a compliment, you know, gave me the but and then, you know, finished in the end with a nice, nice exclamation point.

And I was off and running.

[00:47:37] Phil: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, the the last thing we wanna, we wanna learn from you more than we already have and, and continue on giving back to others, you know, what have you watched, read, or listened to that has most impacted your thinking on what this show is about? How soccer explains life and leadership?

[00:47:55] JP: Um, I'm not a reader. I, I read a lot on the internet. I'm not a book [00:48:00] reader. I have so many books in my house that people send me. And I, I'm sad to say that I don't really have the time I guess, or the patience, you know, to go through a book. If I was a book reader, I'd probably wanna read it from start to finish.

I'm not one of those that could, you know, read two chapters, put it down, and, and then, you know, go the rest of it. Uh, Most of what I read is, I'm gonna say homework related. You know, it's about the next game I'm doing or the next tournament I'm doing. What am I doing next? I always try to watch big events, though.

I'm not an NFL guy, but I will watch the Super Bowl. You know, I will watch the Stanley Cup finals. I don't have as much time as I used to for hockey, but I will watch like the bigger games. And I think you, you'll always learn from that because usually the bigger games are, are the bigger announcers, the better announcers, and you can always learn like I said earlier when we started this show, you know, if, if I thought I knew it all, I should get out.

I'm still learning. Any [00:49:00] conversation that I have with a coach player referee adds to my knowledge, adds something that wasn't there before. And, and there's that eagerness that I still have to learn. So I always look forward to my coaches chats or player chats. because I believe I'm gonna learn something from those conversations.


[00:49:20] Phil: And that's such an important thing to remember. As you said, don't just watch a game, you know, watch a game and learn. You know, if you're a player out there, you, there's so much to learn. You have, you're talking back in the day of the MISL and nothing else. Like, we couldn't watch anything back in the seventies, eighties, as a young player.

We just, there was nothing to watch. Yep, yep. And today you can, oh, go ahead.

[00:49:43] JP: Sorry. I was gonna say, when I, when I think about it one of the things I haven't done as much probably since Covid, but when I used to go to games, like as a fan, I would try to watch something that I can't watch when I'm calling the game.

Right? So sometimes I would, I would go to a game [00:50:00] and just study referees’ position. Where are the assistant referees? How much running are they doing? What's their angle? Sometimes I would just look at the goalkeeper and the back four, if it's a back four, if it's a back three. You know, are they communicating?

What are they doing? I'm not really watching the game. Like when I'm at home and I'm watching a game I might be listening to announcers to to hear something because I've got the next game. So I'm not watching it the same way that I would as a fan. So that's a lesson that I've learned, you know, take advantage of that when you're watching another game.

Now, if it's on tv, you know, you're only seeing what, what the cameras are showing you. Right. And, and you're listening to it. But if you get to go to a game, watch something else. When I was in Atlanta doing hockey I ended up getting my N H l gig years after when I wasn't even going for it. A door opened, then I took it.

But I got to watch Atlanta Hawks games there. And LeBron was in town. He was playing for the Cavaliers at the time, not even Miami. And I, I just watched. [00:51:00] The first half of the game, all I watched was him, and I saw what he was doing when he had the ball. When he didn't have the ball, I saw his eyes, I saw his emotion, his passion.

That's all I looked at. Didn't even look at where everybody else was on the floor. Just studied him. And if I was calling a game and I, I've done basketball, but that was years ago, there's no way I could focus on LeBron. There's, you know, four of his teammates out there. Right. And there's an another team that's out there, so you couldn't do that.

So I encourage anybody, any broadcaster, any coach, you know, when you're, when you're outside of your element and you're looking at something else, just take a look at things that you don't normally get a chance to look at from your own profession.

[00:51:46] Phil: Yeah. That's so important. I mean, Paul, I mean, I, I imagine you would agree with that too, right there.


[00:51:52] Paul: absolutely. I mean, as a, as a, as a coach who had to watch film for so many years, it's hard to even enjoy a game [00:52:00] sometimes without finding yourself analyzing the game and being able to sit back and say, okay, what are some other things that I, that I can watch and observe? What is, what are some of the body languages of coaches?

How do they interact with their players during a match? How do they interact with their bench or their assistant coaches? And not just analyzing the match because that's what I'm used to doing. But I, you know, I totally agree with you jp, and there's some great, I love that you analyze the officials. The officials don't get enough credit in the game.

Mm-hmm. And the things and the responsibilities they have to, to manage Yeah. Through a match and understanding their role and, and, and the load they have to carry, I think is probably very important for a broadcaster because they come into play,

[00:52:34] JP: you know, they're the easy fall guy in the eighties.

In the eighties, much of my knowledge came from the referees because, you know, when the games were over they would always wanna know, this is before, you know, video review came into play. They would say to me, after a game, , you know, how was that call? Mm-hmm. because they, they thought they had it, but they wanted to know, and they would be reassured if I said to them, you know, replay show, [00:53:00] you know, right on the money, you know, or Boy, that was close.

You know, I, we watched the three times. You

[00:53:07] Paul: had to put a compliment sandwich together.

[00:53:08] JP: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think you, I think you missed it. The replay, the replay looks like you may have missed it, but it was a tough call, you know, in, in real time. But I learned more from those guys. And the thing that I learned the most, and I, again, I remembered from the eighties, right?

And you still hear announcers say this today, whether it's indoor or outdoor, they will say I don't know why the official that was closest to the play didn't make the call. You'll hear that in all sports. And the answer is, it's the angle. It's not how far you are to the play or how close you are to the play.

It's the angle and sometimes the, the, whatever the sport is, NHL, NBA. The person that's closest to it is blocked by something else. The person farthest away may have the cleanest angle. And I, I was one of those guys that said [00:54:00] that before, I would say on air, don't know why this guy made the call. This guy was much closer.

And it's all about the angles. And that's what those indoor refs taught me years ago. And it applies to all sports today. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:54:15] Paul: That's what I tell jp by the way, people are confused about your reference to Atlanta Hockey. They were the Thrasher. That's right. They no longer exist. They were five years I was there.

Yep. Yep. Atlanta guys. So the Atlanta teams are my teams, but I remember the Thrasher and hated that hockey disappeared.

[00:54:30] JP: Yeah. Oh, I know. I think Atlanta still gets a. Sports rap. When you, when you think about it, look at how, how well Atlanta United has done there coming in. Mm-hmm. , one of the most successful franchises, certainly off the field, you know, with their record attendance and sponsorship and revenue and all that.

And I, I still think, you know, if, if they let the Thrasher stay there and if they had solid ownership, they'd be strong team today.

[00:54:56] Paul: Yeah. Yeah. That ownership group has done a great job with the, with [00:55:00]United and the

[00:55:00] JP: Falcons. Of course. Yeah. So For sure. Yeah. I still have that third jersey. If Arthur Blank owned the Thrashers, they'd be thriving right now. Yeah, yeah. Yes.

[00:55:08] Phil: I still have that third jersey from the inaugural season for the Thrasher in my, in my closet right now. So yeah, we wow. Got we were there during those, those years and that started my legal career out there in Atlanta. So that's where Paul and I met, as you said.

But but yeah, I, and then it was some bad luck too, the whole Heatley thing and the crash and all that. That was my, that was my first

[00:55:26] JP: year. I, I, the first game I did. was, you know, Daniel Snyder, you know, passing away in that Yeah. In that car accident. Yeah. Yeah, you talk about tough moments and balancing and, and you know, people are tuning in, but it's kind of somber and, you know, that was my first game with the Thrasher.

Wow. Yeah. Wow.

[00:55:47] Phil: Yeah. So, you know, and and I, there, there's so, so much that, I mean, like we say with most our guests, we could get you back on and talk for hours and hours. But I remember Brad Miller talked about that too, watching the game and for young [00:56:00] players to watch a game of pros, especially if you're live and pick one player out.

And one of the things he said, just to get them on the mental health and resetting their brain is watch someone and see how long it takes 'em to make four mistakes. , you know, and I, I think you could do that for broadcasting. You could do that for different things. Whatever your goal is, whatever your, you know, we all make mistakes and we don't focus on those things with other people.

We typically just do it for ourself, and we're like, oh, we just beat ourselves up. When you watch the pros. They're making mistakes left and right and, you know, we, we don't see that usually unless we're watching for it. But it, it should hopefully encourage the younger players too, and to learn from those too.

What do they do after? Well, they just get right back at it, because that's what

[00:56:40] JP: you gotta do. Yeah. I mean, I think greatness is probably defined by consistency, right? Like, anybody can call a good game coach a good game you know, play in a good game. But it's, it's over time. Like that's what the greatest players, you know, the reason why Tom Brady is the goat is not because of one year, two [00:57:00] years, five years, even 10 years, it's, he won seven Super Bowls.

Mm-hmm. , right? I mean, . It's, it's the long haul. And, and people will say, I, it's, it's easier to get there. It's easier to get to the top. It's harder to stay there in anything that you do, right? Because it's consistency. There's competition in everything, right? So whether it's, you know, legal teaching, whatever that is, sports broadcasting this competition all, all the time, right?

So if you stay status quo and, and you don't improve, or at least stay consistent, you're not gonna last as long as you would like to. Right? And one of the things that I've always learned as well is that at least in broadcasting, it's probably the same with, with professional athletes. It's not the, the best moments may not be as great as you think they were.

And, and the same with, with the worst moments. It's never as bad as you think. It's never [00:58:00]as, as good as you think. You know, when you watch it back, like if you've done a game you didn't like the way you did something, the way you said something, the call that you made, your interaction with the analyst, whatever that is, that when the game is over, you think to yourself, nah, I don't like the way I did that.

It probably, when you go back and watch it probably wasn't as bad as you thought. And likewise when you thought, you know, I really nailed that one. . It may not be as good as you think it was either, you know, it was good, but it, yeah, it may not be as, as good or as great as you thought it was. Yeah. Yeah.

That, that's why, you know, you balance it, the highs and the lows, you know, stay consistent. If you've made a mistake or mistakes or had a game that you didn't particularly like, how do you respond the next game? You know, is it, is it another bad one? Whether it's a player, broadcaster, coach right. It's all about momentum, right?

If you have five bad games in a row as an athlete, You're, you're trending in the wrong direction, right? Yep. Yeah. The best, the [00:59:00] best people rebound from the average or the bad games in anything that they do.

[00:59:07] Phil: Yep. 100%. I did. I just recently watched that Steph Curry where he had his worst performance ever.

Zero, oh for 10. Followed it up, breaking the NBA record the next game, 13 for 17. And they, you know, I was watching a video of it and they showed the last shot he took of the, oh, for 10, a guy had a hand in his face and he still took the shot. You know, he had air balls in that game. He had off the bat, it was just brick after brick.

And then what does he do? That he takes the next shot, right? Because he knows, he knows that he can do it. Right? And you gotta have that

[00:59:40] JP: confidence. You do. Gotta be motivated. Gotta know what you can do. Also know what your limitations are as well, right? So don't, don't overdo it. Do what you know you're capable of doing in anything.


[00:59:53] Phil: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, JP. This has been a pleasure and there's just a lot of leadership gold in [01:00:00] this in this conversation we were able to have. So, I'm so grateful for you uh, what you've been doing for decades and I just grateful that you're gonna keep on doing it. So thank you for, for taking time to be with us today,

[01:00:11] JP: Phil and Paul.

My pleasure. Thanks for. Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you

[01:00:14] Phil: jp. Well, folks, thank you for being a part of this conversation. Thank you for tuning in and for downloading this, this episode. And for all the other episodes that you're engaging with, please do engage with us. You can reach out to us, Phil, at how soccer explains leadership.com.

You can also check out what Paul and Marci are doing with the Warrior Way at warriorwaysoccer.com and what I'm doing with Christian DeVries, coachingthebiggergame.com. So you can check all that stuff out at the show notes, anything we referred to on this episode, you can check that out at the website.

So thank you so much everybody. And remember, I, we, we hope that you're taking everything that you're learning from this show and you're using it to be a better person, a better leader, a better coach, better parent, a better spouse, better in [01:01:00] everything that you do, and that you continually remind yourself that soccer does explain life and leadership.

Thanks a lot. Have a great couple weeks.