Aim High, Jump High | Donald Scott

Aim High, Jump High | Donald Scott

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Track and field star Donald Scott is the epitome of inspiration and motivation. Growing up Donald’s father was not in the picture and his mother struggled. Donald found himself with a very troubled childhood. He and his sisters were placed under foster care until his mother’s brother and wife came along. Blessed with family members that went on to move him and his sisters into a better environment, Donald has come a long way from where he used to be. “The most rewarding part of my journey has been the fact that I am blessed to do what God has planned for me. I believe that’s the best reward anyone can have. Yes its fun to compete, travel, win money and meet new people but at the end of the day doing what God has blessed me to do will forever be the best reward I will ever be thankful for.”

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The Beginning

Donald started running track his freshman year in high school. “The only events I knew of were just the running events and hurdles. I didn’t know there were field events until the first day of practice. I was mainly a sprinter/hurdler when I started. Shawn Proffitt, who is a great father figure in my life right now, he was my coach at the time and he basically forced me to do the triple jump,” Donald says. Donald initially wasn’t even interested in it. However, Shawn coached Donald with the knowledge that he knew about it. From there Donald went on to excel in the event even though he later found he was not using the proper technique during high school. He still managed to become a top 3 competitor in the state of Florida.

Coming out of high school, football was Donald’s passion. He wasn’t in love with the triple jump at the time. He ended up a dual sport athlete throughout college. As his college years went by, Donald knew that he could become a great triple jumper. This was especially clear when he started competing, winning and placing at the big college meets. He ended his college career with 9 conference titles, a Jr. national championship, Jr. Pan American games finalist, and Indoor NCAA Championship runner-up. He was also a 3x All-American in the triple jump.

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Motivation

For Donald, the first step to success was to establish a main goal. The next step was to follow the process in order to achieve that goal. “You have to have a great mindset that motivates you to keep pushing through all the adversity you will come upon during the season. You always have to think about why you are doing something and is it really worth the ups and downs you will come upon. Patience is the key to success,” Donald says.

“Things I believe that help me become good at what I do is staying on top of my priorities. Working out, maintaining a good clean diet, and staying positive about every situation in my life. Working out is the number one thing I must do in order to stay fit and to also get better at what I do. Getting stronger and faster is a major key when it comes to the triple jump. A good diet is a good thing to have when it comes to your body functioning the way it should. The body needs the right energy in order to perform well. In order to do that, you have to eat right the right things. Staying positive will always keep your head in the right place it needs to be. Staying on track and not letting your let downs take over and tear you down. You have to take the bad and let it motivate you to continue to do better.

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The Future

Donald certainly doesn’t plan to continue on forever. In the next ten years he plans to have his own business. For the moment, Donald is still building a name for himself in the world of track and field. He continues to work his way up on the ranking charts each season. “I just have to stay the course, perform well, and let everything else take its place,” Donald says.
Donald offers advices to others that find inspiration in his story. “The best advice I can give a young person is that if you believe that you can do something, there is nothing or no one in this world that can stop you from achieving what you want to do. You have to have faith within yourself. You have to stay motivated even when you’re having a bad day. Always keep God first because he is allowing you to chase your dreams and he will forever be your number one supporter. The main thing is patience is the key. Great things come to those who wait.”

SWEAT by SlimClip Case yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7 Aim High, Jump High | Donald Scott workout triple jump track and field track sprinting running run olympics long jump crossift athlete

What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?

I think everyone should either have a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike to do some cardio. Cardio is great for the body and the heart. For everyone who knows how to do squats and Olympic style lifting, they should have a bar and Olympic weights so they can do their explosion style lifts.

In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?

The most overrated exercise for me would be bench. As a jumper you don’t really need to do bench. I would rather do something like overhead push press which works on explosion while doing the push motion as bench. I think underrated exercise would be hip lifts. Many people don’t do hip lifts but I find it very beneficial to strengthen the hip flexors.

What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?

My go to snack is a fruit cup, yogurt, and/or trail mix or some kind of energy/protein bar.

What’s your beliefs on performance diet like? Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet?

I would say my diet would be lean meats, fruits, and veggies. I am not the type to cut out bread or anything. Bread is full of the carbs and energy I need to get through the typical workout day. I have times where I do eat my share of candy. Although I don’t need it, I just love sweets from time to time.

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Overcome Your Hurdles | Kristi Castlin

Overcome Your Hurdles | Kristi Castlin

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Kristi Castlin is a professional track and field athlete, 100 meter hurdler, and a 2016 Olympic medalist. I spoke with Kristi shortly after she returned from Rio, Brazil where she finished 3rd in the 100 meter hurdles finals.

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Childhood

Kristi was always involved in athletics and physical activities in some way. As a child she says she enjoyed PE, field day, and even cheered.  It wasn’t until she was 14yo that she started running track though. She was a freshman in high school. When running track for the first time, she had a lot of success from the start.  Once she was able to dedicate herself to track, she was almost unstoppable. She won 4 state championships breaking a state record at her High School.

When choosing the events she wanted to take part in, Kristi dared to be different. ” I gravitated towards hurdle because I wanted to be different. It was something a lot of other girls weren’t doing,” Kristi says.

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Transition from College to Pro

Kristi went to college at Virginia Tech. When choosing a college, she had over 10 different scholarship offers. She was the first child of her mother’s children to go to college. She envisioned herself creating a legacy of her own.  She chose her univeristy with this in mind rather than following in the footsteps of legends at programs that had a long established legacy of champions.    She felt Virginia tech would be the perfect place to do just that. Indeed she picked a great school to do so. She broke records and won championships. She later went on to become the first medalist in track and field for Virginia Tech.

Transitioning from college to the pros wasn’t easy. Kristi says she struggled from a sponsorship stand point. She first received a small sponsorship from Adidas right after college. Track, like tennis for example, is a bit different than team sports where you sign with a team and agree to terms of payment.  With individual sports, you rely on sponsorships to support your training and travel so you can give your training the attention you need and travel to events to earn purses (monetary winnings).    She couldn’t find another significant sponsor to support her training.  She went on to have an amazing year in track and field in 2012 while training at Clemson. This sparked interest from other companies to pursue sponsorships with her.

Unfortunately, she suffered a minor injury just before the 2012 Olympics. This injury halted her progress for that moment. Going through the injury only made Kristi stronger in the end.

“I had to learn patience and independence as well.”

After the injury Kristi moved from Clemson, SC to Los Angeles to be with her coach. Later she decided to make another change and left to train in Atlanta at Georgia Tech.  “My coach (when I was at Georgia Tech training) helped me to learn a lot about myself.” He helped her to mature, she says. She then returned back to her previous coach back in Los Angeles.

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Mindset

“Track and field is primarily an individual sport. You have to have a strong mindset. It can be difficult to make mistakes because you have no one else to blame.”

“There is little room for error,” Kristi explains.

You have to capitalize on every opportunity. There is a lot of pressure.  Track and field also takes a great amount of accountability.” You train and manage your body, paying attention to every little detail for weeks and months on end.  All of this training and management boils down to a 12 second race that will set you off in one direction or the other.  “You need to  have a strong mental capacity to deal with the results of a race.” It takes a lot of stress management.

Kristi deals with the pressure through prayer and faith. She also works to keep a disciplined schedule. It’s important to make time for things that make you happy, but you must also stay focused and organized.

“Be flexible but always have a plan.”

Routine

A typical day for Kristi is a long one. “From the time I wake up until I finish is about a 12 hr day.”  In the morning, Kristi wakes up and goes to training. She trains about 6 hours a day. Her training includes everything from running, jumping, hurdles, drills and plyometrics, and more. She take about a 15 min break for lunch then heads to weight training for about 2 hours. After a long day of training, she will frequently see her massage therapist. She also makes time to stretch and have an ice bath to soothe her body and prepare for the next day.”

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Kristi Castlin

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