Jermaine Jenas: How to deal with expectation

You need swagger and humility in equal measure to make it pro, says former England international Jermaine Jenas

“I’m being scouted and I’m over the moon. How do you deal with being an exciting young prospect without believing your own hype? 
Craig Monk, via Twitter

Jermaine Jenas says:
 
“For some, it’s going to London that changes things. For me, it was Newcastle. I was the most expensive teenager in the world. 
 
The key was having friends who kept my feet on the ground. I kept going back to Nottingham and seeing my own people. They always treated me the same as ever, and if I ever did start to veer off course, they’d nail me. I wouldn’t listen 
to a lot of people, but when they spoke to me, I did listen.
 
There are some bad people in the game who are looking to use young players. Be wary of anyone who is trying to bring a deal to the table. You can make a lot of money, but it’s easy to lose it all.
 
Try to keep people around you that you trust. That might be your agent, your mum, your best mate – you need that second opinion. 
 
As for believing your own hype, I’m a strong adviser for actually doing that – to a degree. I don’t like players to be suppressed: it’s a tough sport and you need some arrogance, ego and swagger to survive. If you lose your belief, you lose 50 per cent of yourself.”

More after the break

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