Have you ever had an idea or a personal goal in mind and shied away from sharing it with a friend, family, member coach or teammate? Did you keep it to yourself because you were concerned about what other people thought? By the time I got to high school, I found it difficult to share my goals aloud because I was afraid of failure and overly concerned about the opinions of others. Although I always had the support of my parents, it was my coaches who made me feel like their support was directly related to how I performed on the track. One coach in particular had lofty goals for me yet never asked me what I wanted from the season. In hindsight, I wish I would have understood the importance of clearly mapping out my goals at an earlier age so it could have helped me grow as both an athlete and a young woman.
Then in the summer leading up to my junior year in high school I had the opportunity to attend a clinic at the US Olympic Training Center in San Diego, CA . It was there that I would connect with a number of brilliant coaches who challenged me mentally and physically. In addition to fine tuning my running techniques, I learned how to utilize goal-setting methods that helped me create a clear and concise vision of what I wanted to accomplish. These goals set the tone for my upcoming season and allowed me to feel fully prepared to put my best foot forward. That next season I got a fresh start at a new high school with a coach who provided a program that placed emphasis on building a healthy body and a healthy mind. In my senior season my dreams came into fruition and I was able to secure a full scholarship at a D1 University.
Today I feel honored to have the opportunity to share my story with the next generation of young women in the sport who may be going through a similar experience. Helping them create a clear vision prepares their minds and bodies for any potential roadblock that may arise while on the path to achieving their goals. My biggest roadblock when I was younger was negative self talk and I can honestly say that the work I put in to develop a strong and confident mental space still benifits me to this day.
I hope that in sharing my story the next generation of TrackGirlz recognizes that it is never too early to start utilizing goal-setting techniques. I understand how difficult it can be for young athletes to speak about their goals. But as an adult I realize the importance of saying your goals out loud, sharing them with the people closest to you, and taking time to put pen to paper and write them down. Doing so makes your dreams real. It not only holds you accountable but it also helps you gain the confidence needed to accomplish your goals.
Looking to create a clear Vision? Try using our T.R.A.C.K.Goals method for goal-setting:
- Timed- Decide on a clear time frame that you will work on the goal.
- Realistic- Set goals that are within your reach.
- Achievable- Decide on what steps you will take to achieve your goal.
- Clear- Map out a clear plan on how you can accomplish your goal.
- Kept simple- Try not to over complicate your goal.
Next month we are hosting our first TrackGirlz 2020 Vision Empowerment Workshop, focusing on mindset development and goal achievement. Our message is simple. Dream it. Believe it. Do it. Our goal is to help each attendee identify their vision and walk away from the workshop with a clear roadmap to help them reach their goals. Workshop activities will include a speed and conditioning session with Michael Johnson Performance Specialists and world-class performers. Expert Panel to feature Track and Field Olympic Medalists, Michelle Carter, Chryste Gaines, and Melissa Morrison Howard . Register today at TrackGirlz.com/Camps. Space is limited!
Scholarships to attend at no cost are available! To enter, tag @trackgirlz to an Instagram video about what dreams you want to achieve in sport and life, and why.
Please support our workshopz by donating to our campaign to enable a girl to attend our workshops at no charge to them. Donating $60 will enable one girl to receive a scholarship position that can impact their future. Your support is needed in reaching our goal of having over 50% of participant fees waived for attendees, along with contributing toward workshop expenses.
About the author :
Jennifer Nash Forrester is the Co-Director at TrackGirlz. At 7 years old she began running track and dreamt about competing at the Division 1 level. A decade later she turned her dreams into a reality and chose to accept a full scholarship to run as a sprinter at the University of Washington. She credits Track and Field for teaching her sacrifice, hard work, and the power of goal setting. Today she shares fitness and lifestyle tips that will help other young women build and maintain a strong foundation of health inspired by the sport. She uses the lessons she’s learned over the years to inspire audiences to maximize their potential and follow their dreams.