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US Men’s National Soccer Team’s Travis Thomas (ep. 524)

Travis Thomas

John O’Leary welcomes U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team’s Leadership and Team Dynamics Coach Travis Thomas to the Live Inspired Podcast.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is coming to a close! Of the 80 teams that qualified for the sport’s biggest event, the final two teams, Argentina and France, will face off this Sunday in Qatar with billions of viewers tuning in.

And while my home country of USA was knocked out earlier this month, today’s guest recognizes what an accomplishment it was to compete on the world’s stage.

Travis Thomas is U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team’s Leadership and Team Dynamics Coach where he helps strengthen mental and leadership skills for each player, as well as oversee the culture that head coach Gregg Berhalter wants to maintain.

Travis is no stranger to the Live Inspired community. When Travis first joined the podcast in March 2017, he shared how improvisation has shaped his life and how the three words “Live Yes And!” has helped others find their path to living with greater purpose and authenticity. [Listen to Travis on ep. 20 here.]

Today, Travis shares what seemingly insignificant step led him to working with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team for the past three years, and how he builds team camaraderie while also focusing on each of the players individually.

My friends, in whatever match you’re faced with in life, this conversation will leave you inspired to be victorious.

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  • Having a trusted partner, friend or colleague that can point out your opportunities for growth.
  • “There are two types of people in this world: those who are humbled and those who are about to be.”
  • Be aware of BCE: Blaming, complaining or making excuses. If you blame, complain or make excuses, you will remain a victim of your mindset.
  • By implementing the improv-principle of “yes, and” into all facets of his life, Travis began living in radical collaboration with reality and accepting what is.
  • Shift your focus from “what can I get out of this?” to “what can I give?”.
  • When Coach Greg Berhalter took over the USMNT, he wanted to change the way the world viewed American soccer. Travis saw this as an opportunity to change the way the world views America through our soccer.
  • The three core values of the USMNT are: brave, diverse and relentless.
  • Watch USMNT’s Tyler Adams respond to an intense moment during the 2022 FIFA World Cup press conference here.
  • “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
  • What are you packing and what are you leaving behind? This exercise never discounts the struggle or challenges faced but choosing not to ruminate them.
  • The more diverse your team, the fewer blind spots you have: What makes a team so powerful in achieving a common goal is the diversity of motivation.

Did you enjoy today’s episode?

Don’t miss my conversation with Coach Kathy Bresnahan. After the devastating  loss of their team captain, Coach Kathy taught the Iowa City West volleyball team lessons on grief, empathy and supporting each other can lead to a State Championship. Listen to ep. 89 now.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. I always felt that I was special, not in an arrogant way, and I need to remind myself that.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. A collection of letters that my wife and friends have written me and a book that, when I was the assistant coach at Principia College, my players each wrote a page about the impact I had on them.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. My mom who passed away in September 2017.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. There’s only one Travis Thomas so be the best Travis Thomas.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Listen to yourself, trust yourself and strap in. It’s going to be quite a ride.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. You cannot progress until you say “yes”.