Every athlete, professional or amateur, has a player they looked up to as a role model. From how they played the game, to what they did off the field, these professionals served as a source of inspiration and motivation for sports lovers. Myles Jones knows that even if his end goal isn’t to be that role model that he could still be that figure for future generations and he wants to carry himself in a way that inspires greatness for those watching.
Myles grew up on Long Island, New York, as a multi-sport athlete and didn’t even start playing lacrosse until he was in sixth grade. As a child, his whole family were sports fanatics and all had played more than one sport growing up, which instilled the same love in him. The love for lacrosse was a bit of a different story.
“I fell in love with lacrosse, honestly, because I sucked at it,” says Myles Jones, Midfielder for the Redwoods of the Premier Lacrosse League. “It was a much more difficult sport for me to immediately pick up, which made me want to be better and begin devoting more and more time to the sport. Through the practice, I fell in love with lacrosse and it became part of who I was.”
For Myles, the goal of becoming a professional lacrosse player wasn’t always the main objective. During his freshman season on the Duke University lacrosse team, Myles’ main objective was to have fun and just try to enjoy that experience. He wanted to progress as a player, be a contributor to his team, and also be a good student both in the game and in his academics. As a sophomore, the desire to progress grew, and as he adjusted to life as a student-athlete, he put in more work than ever before to up his game.
Now, as a professional athlete who is a minority, Myles understands that spreading diversity is an important piece. “It was never what I sought out to do,” says Jones, “but I make sure to conduct myself in a different way for those who may be watching. A lot of things that I do as a professional athlete are under a microscope, especially by the kids who are watching and looking up to you, so I want to give them the best example I can. I think about watching Kyle Harrison as I was growing up and him being that player I looked up to and could see myself in. I was very fortunate to have the chance to play alongside him for two seasons and have him as a mentor, and more importantly, a friend.” Myles Jones has channeled the potential of being a role model into a new source of motivation.
Throughout his career, Myles has devoted time to coaching and mentoring future generations. “One of my favorite aspects of the PLL is the opportunity to travel and play games in so many different cities. I try to plan around where games are going to be and attend camps or clinics in the area where I can meet kids and share my experience. One of the coolest feelings in my life is coaching kids one day, then inviting them to come to the game and knowing they are seeing both the coach side of me and the player side of me and that I am putting that practice into execution.”
“If I could give anyone a piece of advice, it would be to do as much as possible. Try things, a lot of things, and find out what you’re passionate about. Learn about your interests and devote time to doing so. I know it sounds exhausting, but I can promise you that when you look back you’ll swear that you must have been tired but you won’t remember that. Set yourself up now for those passions later in life and things that excite you. The formula for passion is just drive plus excitement.”
Check out Myles Jones athlete profile on TorchPro to see his exclusive interview and how he is inspiring greatness in future generations.