Learning how to ignore the outside noise with Duke University standout goalkeeper Ruthie Jones.
We are extremely excited to share our most recent interview with our readers! U.S. youth national team and Duke University standout Ruthie Jones took the time to answer a few questions for us and I don't think you'll want to miss this one. She shares her insight about excelling as a multi-sport athlete, competing at a high division one level, and much more. Enjoy this amazing interview!
You were a two-sport athlete for most of your high school career. What made you pick soccer as your main sport?
Growing up, I loved playing all sports. I feel so lucky I got to play both basketball and soccer for so long. As I got older, I began to focus more on soccer because I realized it was something I could and wanted to have a future in. That being said, I still miss playing basketball and look for every opportunity to get back on the court!
Do you think being a multi-sport athlete helped your development more as a goalkeeper? What aspects specifically were most beneficial?
I think playing both sports definitely helped me improve as a goalkeeper. Physically, playing a game that requires using your hands to move the ball helped me in terms of hand-eye coordination. Basketball also taught me to move my feet and got me fit. Mentally, I think basketball can be an especially intense and intimate game. It forced me to stay mentally tough in high stress situations, which definitely translates to being a goalkeeper.
Growing up, you were a part of various youth national teams at different age groups. What were those experiences like and how did they motivate you to keep improving?
Getting to play with the national team has been one of the most special experiences of my life. There are not a lot of things that can push you to play your best like wearing the USA crest. As a young player, I think being in an environment that surrounded me with elite players and coaches who were the best in the country unlocked my real potential and inspired me to be the best. It was an environment that I could then try to emulate while training at home, pushing me to keep my standards high and to keep improving.
You were rated as one of the top goalkeepers in the country coming out of high school. What kind of pressure did that put on you and how did you deal with that throughout your recruiting process?
During high school and throughout my recruiting process, I tried to ignore a lot of the outside noise and just focus on my game. I wanted to find a place where I could play at a high level and be happy. It was important for me to remind myself that because of soccer I had some amazing opportunities to visit great schools all across the country, instead of putting pressure on myself to make the decision.
Speaking of recruiting, you ultimately decided to go to Duke University. What made Duke stand out to you and what went into your decision-making process?
Duke stood out to me as being a place where I could compete at the highest level for women’s collegiate soccer and attend an excellent university. The more I visited and got familiar with it, though, the more I realized that I loved the school as a whole and would be happy with my team and the environment at Duke.