Tell us about your experience training together for the 2012 London Olympics…
Yolanda: It was a great experience. We lived together for months at a time, traveled the world together, and trained together. I helped her stay in shape and she helped me stay in shape. I really enjoyed spending that time with my daughter and being able to the watch her receive a silver medal in person.
Lashinda: To be able to do something on such a big stage and share that moment with my mom and sons will always be a staple in my life. I had an amazing journey to get there.
Lessons we learned about working with your family…
Yolanda: We had to keep all personal problems away from the track so we could focus on our goals. When Lashinda was on the track, I was her coach, not her mother. I had to remember as a coach not to be harder on Lashinda because she was my daughter.
Lashinda: When working with my family, I worried less. I figured out very quickly that my mom has never wavered in wanting the best for me so I can trust all advice and coaching that she gives me. Many people run from working with their family, but it’s a stigma that is absolutely wrong! As long as I gave my mom the respect of being an elite coach, just as I would any other coach, the working relationship was utopian.
The qualities we admire most in each other…
Lashinda: My mom is extremely giving and forgiving. She doesn’t hold on to grudges. She always goes the extra mile to provide for her children. I picked up that parenting skill from her.
Yolanda: Lashinda is a caring and genuine person. If you need her help, she will be there for you.
How can we inspire the next generation of women in sports…
Lashinda: I hope to inspire women to know that their dreams and aspirations shouldn’t be put on hold because of having a family. Your vision can be adjusted to include your family in your dreams. It’s our responsibility to live amazing lives!
Yolanda: It’s been a tough road being a female elite professional coach and gaining trust from athletes that are not used to a woman in this position. But I don’t let roadblocks keep me from moving my dreams forward. Sports is a male dominant industry. We as females have to make our spot in history and we deserve to stand right next to the men.
I don’t let roadblocks keep me from moving my dreams forward.
Ways entrepreneurs can channel their inner Olympian…
Yolanda: Practice makes perfect, so just like Olympians train and are coached daily, you must do the same thing with your entrepreneurial goals.
Lashinda: It takes a lifetime to become an Olympian, and you should look at becoming a successful entrepreneur the same way. It’s going to take a lot of late nights and early mornings. But all in all, you are pressing toward that gold medal business. Being an Olympian is something that is a part of your make-up, not something that you turn on and off.
How have you inspired each other to embrace ambition?
Yolanda: Seeing Lashinda continue to fight for what she wants out of life – and she doesn’t want anything ordinary. She encourages me to want the same of myself.
Lashinda: My mom is the ultimate hustler! She figures out a way to get it done. Being told “no” is unheard of to her. She never lets someone else determine what she can or can’t do.