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Tips From The Top: One On One With Justin Gatlin

I spoke to Olympic gold medalist and reigning world 100 meter champion Justin Gatlin about his journey and best advice

Adam: What is something that would surprise people about the life of an Olympic athlete?

Justin: Olympians are usually known for being dedicated disciplined people waiting for their moment. People sometime forget that we still know how to have fun traveling the world whenever we want, not just every four years.

Adam: You have experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. What advice do you have on managing both? What did you do to stay mentally strong and ultimately bounce back?

Justin: No matter what you must always believe in yourself but at the same time always be your biggest critic. I don’t emotionally invest into losses. I use those as lessons to make me better.

Adam: What are the best lessons you have learned from your athletic career and all that has come with it?

Justin: As a pro athlete I’ve learned that sports, on a professional level, is a business. You must conduct yourself as a businessman or businesswoman, not just as an athlete.

Adam: Who did you enjoy competing against the most and who did you enjoy competing against the least? Why?

Justin: Usain Bolt for both. It’s a rare opportunity that someone shows you your strengths and your flaws.

Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?

Justin: A leader is someone who understands the definition of sacrifice. Meaning things that you desire to do compared to things that you need to do. Time that you spend socializing compared to time you spend preparing.  An effective leader understands time management because in track and field, or any sport, time is everything.

Adam: What are your three best tips applicable to leaders?

Justin: Always stay mentally and emotionally balanced. Strive to be the good guy but know that it’s necessary to be the bad guy sometimes. Always be inspiration for those who look toward you.

Adam: What advice do you have for anyone on how to become their best self?

Justin: It starts with confidence. Confidence in who you are. Surround yourself with people who sees your full potential and always do more than what’s expected.

Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?

Justin: That opportunity and success only comes to those who prepare for it.

Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?

Justin: Encouragement and compliments go a long way.

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?

Justin: I love creating art. Art slows me down mentally to think things through compared to when I’m running.

 Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Justin: “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” One of my favorite quotes.
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