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Goals: Carmelita Jeter

Women’s Track Assistant Coach, Missouri State University

Posted online

Three-time Olympian Carmelita Jeter knows too well the highs and lows of her craft.

In 2012, she anchored the winning U.S. Olympic 4x100-meter relay team and also was the first athlete to medal in both the 100- and 200-meter races at an Olympic Games.

But more recently, she didn’t get selected for the 2018 Olympic team.

“I know what the failure feels like, and I know what it feels like when 80 million people [are] screaming your name,” she says.

The recent failure inspired her to set her sights on something new. Last fall, she joined the track and field coaching staff at Missouri State University.

“Now, my goals are just a little different. Head coach job? OK. Coach some girls to do amazing things? OK. Graduate with my master’s? OK,” she says. “It’s always about bettering yourself.”

And she’s not concerned about anyone standing in her way. She’s already proven herself.

“Who would have ever thought I would be the fastest woman alive, but me?”

Jeter’s advice on goals

Failure isn’t final.
“When you fail from a goal, life isn’t over. If it’s a situation where it didn’t go as planned, then guess what? Write some other stuff down and figure out how to make it happen. You know when somebody didn’t really want it? If at the first try, they said, ‘Oh, I can’t do it.’”

Visualize goals and smash them.
“Write everything down on a real piece of paper. They have to be things you really want, not what someone else wants for you. You have to push yourself to the limit. You have to push yourself so much to where you’re mentally and physically exhausted because that’s the only way you’re going to be great. As you’re going through life, you’re checking things off. You’re also adding things to your goal list because your mindset should be changing every six months.”

Critics push you forward.
“If you’re writing goals down and you don’t have that one hater telling you [that] you can’t do it, then I don’t think your goals are big enough. You got to have those people because those are the people going to keep you on your toes. If everybody is kissing your butt and shaking your hand, then you’re not going to get to where you want to get.”

Don’t lean on fame.
“Practice is hard. Track meets are easy. You should be giving everything at practice, because when we get to a track meet, you only have to do it once. Pressure is a privilege.”

You are your No. 1 cheerleader.
“You have to be your own cheerleader. Nowadays with social media … they’re too busy worried about if the next person is going to clap. What do I need to worry about you clapping for? I know I’m legit. We should have our own cheer group.”


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