One sentence can have a profound impact on someone’s life. For Jordan Tucker, a young athlete from Australia, it was this: “You're not good enough.” When he heard these words from someone he admired, Jordan was crushed. But rather than let it define him, he chose to redefine what greatness looked like for himself.
Living in England in his childhood, Jordan had grown up with a love of football. How could he not? It was everywhere in the culture, and both his parents were avid supporters. He dreamed of one day playing professionally, and he was determined to make that dream a reality.
But of course, as every athlete knows, it’s not an easy journey. Jordan faced many obstacles, most notably when he was released from English Football League One club – Doncaster Rovers. This became a massive shock to his whole system, not just because his dream was seemingly dashed, but also after hearing those four words – “You're not good enough.”
His normal life was suddenly in disarray. But rather than give up, Jordan decided to take this difficult situation and turn it into a learning experience. He took the time to reflect on what he had been doing wrong and how he could change his approach going forward.
"Being told you’re not good enough in any industry or part of your life is hard to hear and it may happen a few times if you put yourself out there. You have to keep believing and finding new ways."
He joined a local boxing gym and started his way back to rediscovering himself and his passion. He just couldn't stay away from the football pitch for too long, so most afternoons he spent networking on his laptop, looking for new trials. To his surprise, one finally came up. This time it was different, though; Jordan had done the hard work to be ready for them, and he felt like he could make a real difference. He played with a newfound purpose and was soon signed as a semi-professional.
As a semi-professional, Jordan has time to work in the morning and train with his team at night. Usually, their training is scheduled for three nights a week, then a match on weekends. He would describe a football match as "high-intensity" and "demands a lot from your body". But he was thankful for having experienced coaches, physics, and exercise scientists behind him to help improve his performance.
After 9 months of not being able to tolerate the pain anymore, Sam decided that he would move into coaching rather than competing. It was a huge struggle for him physically and mentally to accept that he could no longer train and compete at the level he wanted to that other athletes could. Instead of competing, Sam used it as a motivation to become a better coach than he ever was as an athlete.
Just like any other coaches, Sam's goal one day is to coach athletes to the World champs and Olympic games. He's been coaching track and field athletics for 11 years now, majority of his success has come in combine athletic events like the decathlon and heptathlon. Sam prefer to focus on the athlete's rather than the events, numbers, and results.
Physicality and speed are important in football and Jordan is always pushing his limits, constantly looking to gain that extra bit of strength or speed. When asked how he does it, "Lots of work and self-reflection! Being self-aware is so important to building your strengths." His mindset was something he had to rewire when his career path changed, but it is now a major part of what drives him.
Of course, weaknesses come with any job, and Jordan finds his biggest challenge is having a wrong mindset during certain times. But he is quick to remind himself of the values that are important to him, "Constant positive reassurance and seeing the fun in the sport. The more I try to enjoy it - the better I play."
Last year, they won a league promoting them to the National Premier League – the second division of football in Australia. It was the biggest achievement for Tucker and his team and a dream come true. Presently, their next match is a pre-season game against a team in the league above them which he sees as a big challenge for the team. They will be playing at their home ground – Caroline Springs – one of Melbourne's best pitches/facilities.
When asked about his plans, Jordan said: "I am planning to maintain my level of semi-professionalism - but would also like the opportunity to take it full time. I will achieve this by training hard, doing all the right things, and keeping my body and mind healthy!"
Jordan Tucker is a shining example of how dedication, hard work, and self-reflection can lead to success. His story shows us that we can all redefine greatness for ourselves. No matter what difficult situations come our way, we have the power to make something amazing out of them. Witnessing his journey and his commitment to fitness every day is inspiring. And when it comes to his career, Jordan is determined to keep going until he reaches the professional level. We all wish him the best of luck!