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Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Jeanette Green!

Jessica's mom, Jeanette, is awesome. She is such a sweet lady who cares for Jessica, and wants her to succeed in every aspect of her life. When we were at school together, Jessica had this beautiful picture of her mom in a frame on her desk. It was beautiful seeing the bond and the love they have together.

1. Are there sacrifices you as a mother have to make to support your future Olympian?

As the mother of a future Olympian, I recognize that there are many challenges facing those that choose this journey. In my mind, the word "sacrifice" implies giving up something for the sake of something else. The thing that I would consider a sacrifice is the ability to spend time with Jessica. It is important that she remain focused on her goals and dedicate her time to the physical and mental training necessary to perform at the level of an Olympian. Additionally, she needs to be surrounded by an environment that will help her achieve her goals. Unfortunately, this environment has taken her far from our Florida home.

It has been a priority of mine that Jessica feels emotionally supported by her family while on this journey.

There have been other sacrifices, such as substituting travel to a national competition instead of a family vacation!

2. How do you feel when you watch Jessica compete?

I am always overcome with excitement when watching her on the competition platform. However, I can watch her facial expressions and body language to know her confidence in that next lift. It may sound silly, but I sit in the audience and send her all the positive mental energy that I can, hoping she will feel the confidence we all have in her. I don't ever experience fear or nervousness; she is a great athlete doing what she loves to do. There is nothing better than Jessica's smile during and after a good lift!

3. What advice would you give other mothers of young athletes just starting out?

After being part of the Olympic weightlifting world and seeing many types of parents bring their children in to the sport, I think the most important thing is for a parent to support their children, especially young women entering the sport. I have seen parents that see weightlifting as a passing interest and not support a young woman with athletic ability to succeed in the sport. On the other hand, I have also seen parents that get too involved and don't allow the coach to develop the athlete to their potential. Either way, the parents need to be supportive while not overbearing.

What I love about Olympic weightlifting and the women in the sport is the focus on inner strength and beauty, not how one looks in a singlet. Women develop the confidence in Olympic weightlifting that carries over into other aspects of life.

I would also prepare them for the travel and competition schedule!

3. How do you and Jessica keep in touch with her busy life?

Well, modern technology is wonderful....facebook, text messages, email, webcam...we don't have a coordinated time or day that we talk, I always promote an open "phone" policy. Call/text/email when you are free and if I cant talk at that moment, I will be in touch as soon as I can.

With a two hour time difference, I do have to say goodnight and read some texts in the morning. Jessica is a bit of a night owl...

4. What do you like most/worst about Jessica training/competing/traveling so much?

What I like most is Jessica's ability to work towards her goals. What I like least is that I can't be there to see everything. And that the streaming live videos don't always work well when I cant be there!!!

Balancing training, competing, and travel always puts stress on the immune system, so I do worry that she will get worn down or sick. But she seems to balance this well.

5. Could you tell us a story about some of the first times you noticed Jessica's athletic abilities as a child?

Do you mean tell you a story about how she started running and jumping at 8 months old?! She always wanted to try new sports as a little girl. But the first time I knew she had great athletic abilities was when she was 9. She had played for a community soccer league for a season and one of her friends suggested she come to the elite travel team tryouts. The coach came to me immediately. He said she had the most incredible speed he had ever seen and wanted her for the team. I was concerned that she really did not have that much experience to play on the soccer team, but he said "that kind of speed can't be taught. Skills I can teach, but that speed is natural". So, began her athletic journey...Ironically, she was practicing for high school soccer tryouts when she was asked to come check out Olympic Weightlifting!

As her mom, Jessica has always inspired me with her passion for the sport of weightlifting and her desire to support others to be the best at whatever sport they love.

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