Teenage sprint sensation Shawnti Jackson has urged young athletes to balance their focus on goals with self-care, including time away from their phones.
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Shawnti Jackson praised her father and coach, Bershawn Jackson, an Olympic 400m hurdles medalist, saying, “My coach, dad, he encouraged me to work hard and embrace the journey.”
“To every young athlete, it’s not where you’re at, it’s where you’re going, and make sure you have fun with it,” said the Pan American U20 and American High School record holder in the 100m, boasting an impressive time of 10.89 seconds. ALSO READ: High School Sprint Phenom Shawnti Jackson Inks NIL Deal with Brooks…
Sprint Prodigy Shawnti Jackson Highlights Mental Health in Athletics
“In this day and age, mental health is everything, social media is everything. Please make sure you take time to put your phone down and just worry about yourself, take self-care days,” Shawnti Jackson, 18, emphasized.
Jackson, whose best time over 200m is 22.70, and who clocked 52.54 for the 400m, highlighted the importance of managing time effectively while acknowledging the double-edged nature of social media.
“Social media is a big thing. I have to have a social media presence, but I need to learn how to put my phone down because no matter how old you are, there’s going to be some adult sitting on his couch trying to talk bad about you,” she said, noting the potential harm of negative comments.
Jackson was awarded the 2023 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year after setting three national records and winning two Pan American U20 gold medals.
“I would like to thank everybody who voted for me and everybody who’s been supporting me throughout this year,” she concluded.