Life Lessons Jarvey Gayoso Picked Up From His Dad Jayvee

From Court to Pitch: Life Lessons Jarvey Gayoso Picked Up From His Dad

They may play different sports, but Jarvey Gayoso tells The GAME about his dad’s unwavering support throughout his career.

Jarvey Gayoso is often asked why he chose to play football instead of basketball. Now, if you’ve ever watched Jarvey play a game of football — when he was the star player for Ateneo, or any of his games for the Philippine Men’s National Football team (PMNFT) — and if you’ve seen his natural ability on the pitch, you’d probably wonder why basketball even comes into question.

But for those who may not know, Jarvey is the son of former basketball star, Jayvee Gayoso, who played for Ateneo and Barangay Ginebra back in the day. So in a basketball-obsessed country, it’s no wonder fans are curious to know why Jarvey didn’t follow in these footsteps.

Every time he is asked this, he is quick to emphasize that he has football in his genes, too.

“Not a lot of people know this but I have uncles who played for the national team and both my Lolos actually played football. So I didn’t really veer off the path that everyone expected me to do,” he explains to The GAME.

Indeed, sports is definitely in Jarvey’s blood. But more than that, this was just how Jarvey was raised. Despite having a basketball star for a dad, the 27-year-old shares that Jayvee brought him up to find his own way in the world while supporting him however he could.

“He pushed me to be not Jayvee Gayoso’s son, but to be my own person,” Jarvey says.

Unconditional support

Basketball was presented to Jarvey on a silver platter. As he looks back, he shares, “I was able to reach my dad playing a few games of basketball, so he’d bring me to a few of his training sessions and just like the other kids, I would be able to just shoot around. And my dad would also have basketball clinics where he’d teach a lot of kids, so he’d take me along with him and I would be the example for the drills he wanted kids to do.”

On top of this, Jarvey also grew up playing basketball in a very small community in Alabang. At home, all he had was a basketball and he would play with his friends on the court close to his childhood home.

But, when the opportunity to take an orientation for football opened up to him in kindergarten, he took it. He recalls that both his parents were very supportive and willing to let him play, and from then on, he moved from using his hands to his feet to control a ball.

“I felt more natural playing football,” Jarvey recalls. “In terms of my physique, I’m not the biggest guy, I’m not the tallest guy, and I know how to run because my dad, at a very young age kept making me run. So I think I was built for speed, and football has a bigger field for basketball, so I think I can utilize it there more. It was just really more of a natural inclination to football.”

Jarvey Gayoso
(Photo credit: Javier Gayoso on Facebook)

It’s as though he was born to follow the professional athlete path, as he was able to recognize this innate ability from an early age. In fact, he recalls that from the get-go, he always knew to some degree that he wanted to be a professional one day.

So even though basketball was his bread and butter, his dad, Jayvee, did not deny his son the opportunity to pursue his love for football.

“There was never really that push to move to basketball,” he recalls. “Even when I got a scholarship before and an opportunity to decide whether or not I wanted to play football or basketball, he gave me the freedom to choose what I wanted to do.”

Ultimately, Jarvey proved himself right.

He started making waves when he was a college player, playing for Ateneo de Manila University. In UAAP Season 79, it was his goal in the men’s football finals that led his squad to win the UAAP title, and he was named Best Striker and MVP. And even when he decided to forgo his final playing season with the University to explore new opportunities in the professional realm, Jayvee supported that decision just the same.

From there, Jarvey would go on to become one of the top players in the Philippines Football League, as well as the PMNFT.

But along the way, Jarvey was always open to picking up all the wisdom his dad had to share from the years he’s spent playing professionally.

Passing down experience

Whether it was influenced by witnessing his dad excel professionally or by something else entirely, Jarvey always knew that playing professionally was going to be the goal. And even though he did not explicitly express this to his dad, he felt as though Jayvee recognized this in him.

“I wanted to play pro and I think he saw that through my efforts and through the sacrifices I made. I never really told him that was what I wanted to do after I graduate, but I think he saw it.”

It takes one to know one.

In recognizing this, behind the scenes, Jayvee became Jarvey’s personal trainer. Seeing dedication in his son, he pushed this desire to succeed in the right direction. Jarvey even shares, “He was my biggest critic. He still is my biggest critic and my personal trainer.” And despite playing different sports, the PMNFT star explains that he was always open to whatever his dad was willing to teach him — even basketball drills.

“Up until COVID, recently, he continued to train me with basketball drills. I actually accepted everything. I understood that there are also benefits to cross-training, to do basketball drills. So I never shied away from my dad introducing different drills from basketball, or even just to shoot around — I wouldn’t mind doing it whenever he and I got the chance to play.”

In addition to this, Jayvee also set up Jarvey with the foundations that every good professional needs from a young age, even beyond the physical training side of things.

“He knows what it takes to get to the pro level, and from the very beginning, I needed to take everything seriously, especially in my youth,” he shares.

“My youth stages in learning the basics of football, learning how to take care of my body, learning what to eat, what’s good for me, getting enough sleep, taking the right vitamins. Until this very day, even though I’m already playing professionally, he still checks up on me and asks me if I have vitamins, that I’m taking all this stuff, that I’m eating the right food. I think that was just something very natural for him.”

Jarvey Gayoso with his dad, Jayvee Gayoso
(Photo courtesy of Jarvey Gayoso)

Behind the scenes, Jayvee is very hands-on, even with Jarvey’s younger brother who is now playing at the club level for a youth team. But, Jarvey shares that when it came to matches, his dad had a different kind of presence.

“He wasn’t one of those parents that would stand there and yell at me or the coach,” he reveals. “He’d never share his opinions with anyone except with me, and I think that was a big enough role that he played for me.

“But he’s always there. He always messages me, especially when it comes to my trips abroad, when I get to the airport he’ll message me, he’ll ask for my schedule, ask if I need a ride home, consistently. And he tries to learn how to use his phone and the internet and the links for the livestreams when the games are abroad.”

No matter what the situation, Jayvee’s support was always felt, and this is something that Jarvey recognizes with gratitude.

“My dad would do anything for his kids. That, I’m so sure. And that’s something I’ve learned from him that I hope to apply one day in my life,” he says.

Invaluable memories

When Jarvey was playing football in Ateneo, he was living in Katipunan while his dad was back in Laguna — not an easy commute. But, this was just another sign of how Jayvee would show his support for Jarvey’s athletic career.

On top of this, those trips were some of Jarvey’s most memorable moments with his dad, as the long drives were opportunities to exchange stories and learn from one another.

“He’d pick me up all the time. The long distance from Katipunan to Laguna gave us a lot of time to talk about sports, talk about basketball, talk about football, talk about his experiences before, how it helped him, and how it could help me. Those are the bonding moments we’d have.”

Jarvey Gayoso with his dad, Jayvee Gayoso
(Photo courtesy of Jarvey Gayoso)

With Jayvee’s 10-year PBA career, along with all the other sporting experiences he’s had, there was surely a lot to go over in those hours spent on the road. And despite having competed in a different playing field altogether, Jarvey learned many invaluable lessons from his dad.

“The way he talks to me and the way he helps me, it comes from his own experiences and the way he can translate it to football. Like dealing with pressure, dealing with haters, dealing with a lot of critics, dealing with not feeling focused on by the coach, not being the star, or not being the go-to guys, dealing with bad games, dealing with bad officiating — stuff like that.

“I don’t think I’ve ever found myself going to my dad for advice because I’ve always been receiving advice from my dad.”

Indeed, Jarvey is lucky. With a dad who has been through the professional athlete journey himself, he has always had someone to count on for advice and support. But, this cannot take away from Jarvey’s own hard work. Whatever he took from his dad, he worked hard to apply it on the pitch to get better at his craft with every passing day.

His dad was the same. “I’ve heard stories of my dad where he was never really like the best player in high school or college, but he worked hard and he was just relentless with his training sessions and shooting and weightlifting and he pushed himself to be the best, and ended up being as good as everyone says he is.

“I think his relentlessness to perfect the game and to be the best player is something I learned from him.”

Putting this all into practice has allowed Jarvey to not live in the shadows of Jayvee’s career. Instead, Jarvey has built the Gayoso name on the pitch for himself, giving himself the opportunity to shine, and most of all, chase his goals.

Banner images from Jarvey Gayoso on Instagram and Barangay Ginebra on Facebook.

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