Monday, January 10, 2022

Early family and life experiences helped shape Jason Bartlett into a devotion to sports and soccer in particular. And when his daughter began to play, that devotion led to a new inspiration leading the next generation to that same devotion.

“I played for the Raiders when I was 10 years old up on the South Hill… before moving to North Carolina.”

An experience more and more children go through, Bartlett’s family split when he was a youngster and the divorce ultimately led to the move across the country with his mother.

That tough experience was compounded by life in North Carolina, driving the young Bartlett into sports and the game.

“Life in North Carolina was very different than in the Pacific Northwest. Racism, division and social injustice were only a few of the things that were front and center to my young and now very open eyes.

Sports were my escape from this backwards way of life in NC and I did everything to constantly be playing. Lettering in three sports my freshman year and I didn’t stop till I moved back to Spokane a number of years later to live with my father.”

Bartlett continued playing and still does today in over-40 leagues, but when it comes to the sport the primary passion is now coaching. Something that was initiated by his daughter beginning to play soccer in 2014.

“What drove me to coach in the beginning was my daughters team needing a coach. Why I coach today is to hopefully inspire or guide a player in becoming a great human, great teammate, great leader, or even a great player.”

A short time later, he would join the Sounders.

“I started off on the Select side of the house, moved onto the older girls, and now coaching premier side for the younger ones. I’m enjoying seeing the progression I get to see with the younger individuals. Loving teaching the game to the next up-and-coming group of girls who one day will hopefully love the game as much as I do.

“The thing I love the most about coaching is watching children grasp a concept and learn to love something. Watching them develop and become great soccer players. That’s the one thing is the best thing for me is watching the light bulb come on for them is amazing to me.”

A telecommunications technician during the day, Bartlett believes the deep dive into sports as a youth has made a positive impression on his life that is now a permanent part of his DNA. Whether that is his passion to continue playing, coaching, life at his day job, or down time on the slopes or river with family and friends.

“Looking back throughout my life, sports have always been a part of my makeup. It is a life lesson in hard work, trust, defeat, rebound, and dedication.

“I consider myself lucky to have been around a lot of great people in my life and career. At work the life lessons I learned in sports apply almost daily. Whether it be collaborating as a group, pushing through a long day to fix a problem, or donating to the local community it is the little things that matter; the people around you, and how you impact in game!

“If you dedicate yourself to becoming good at anything and really spend the time needed to enable that to happen, you will find that in the end you are great! A great player, a great teammate, a great leader, and most of all a great human.

“Blessed is the best way to describe my life.”


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