Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Sibling rivalry fosters growth

Soccer runs in the family for senior goalie Brett Johnson, as well as in the CCIW conference.
Johnson’s brother, Ryan Johnson, graduated last year and played soccer for four years at North Central as a midfielder.
Ryan Johnson was two-time all-academic CCIW player, and the Johnson brothers head to head matchup was won by North Central, with the team winning two out of the three years they played each other. Ryan Johnson even scored on Brett in a North Central win in 2012.
“My freshman year I ended saving two or three of his shots and we won a close game,” Johnson said. “Sophomore year he scored on me, which was depressing and was the worst moment of my entire career. Junior year we lost and he had two or three shots on goal.”
Although they played on rival teams in college, the Johnson brothers played on the same club and high school teams growing up, with their parents pushing Brett up an age group so they would not have to go to twice as many games. Brett believes that this helped him become a better player and also gave him an advantage in high school.
“I got the experience of playing with bigger and faster people and by the time I did have to play with my age group in high school I was getting moved up to sophomore and varsity teams early because I was so used to the competition,” Johnson said. “I feel like just always having him there to push me to get better since he was older and he felt like he should always be better I feel like it really helped push me to become a lot better of a soccer player.”
Johnson’s dad pushed him and his other brothers to play sports in their childhood. Johnson cites playing many sports helped him to become a better goalkeeper, because it made him a better overall athlete.
“My dad was really big on playing sports all throughout my childhood he had us on three different soccer leagues, three different baseball leagues, and two different basketball leagues,” Johnson said. “I even played volleyball in middle school; he loved watching us play sports. We basically ran from one sport to another as children. This made me a lot better at soccer I think because I used skills from basketball and baseball like different ways to catch the ball to make myself better as a goalie.”
Johnson is a neuroscience major, planning on doing his internships in the winter and spring, when he no longer has soccer. He has done a field study already which involved interacting with children at the Salvation Army and teaching them skills they wouldn’t learn in school.
“Parents who couldn’t take care of their children went to the Salvation Army, dropped their children off for sessions in which we tried to provide a good learning environment for them because they don’t normally live in the best neighborhoods and the parents don’t know where to drop their kids off to in order for them to get that good learning experience,” Johnson said.
At the Salvation Army field study, Johnson did a mixture of one on one activities as well as group activities. Johnson’s history of playing sports all his life as also made an impact on him academically. He wants to pursue an internship in sports psychology and learn about some aspects of the game that people don’t normally see and understand those concepts better.
“Throughout my life I grew up playing baseball, basketball, and soccer all throughout high school and I have been really intrigued by the mental aspect of the game,” Johnson said. “There are so many mental mistakes people make and just understanding how those mental mistakes occur from anxiety for example and how it affects performance.”
Johnson and the Augustana men’s soccer team will face Elmhurst to continue their conference play at Elmhurst College on Saturday.

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Sibling rivalry fosters growth