Under Armour pro Jazmine Fray says she's matured over the last several years, specifically in the area of belief.
Five years ago, that wasn't the case. There were points during her recruiting process out of Kellenberg Memorial (NY) High School, she said, when she couldn't believe she was being recruited by prestigious Divison 1 programs across the country.
Eventually, she made her commitment to Texas A&M. But in the beginning, she said she lacked a belief in her abilities to perform against top runners, including professional athletes.
However, one thing made a difference. Former Texas A&M middle distance coach Alleyne Francique always provided constructive criticism after each meet, whether she performed well or not. Ultimately, the "little things" started to separate her from the field, Fray said.
One little thing she relied on was communicating with her coaches on how she felt mentally. Hydrating, getting proper rest, fueling her body, and being positive were other examples that helped her to be the best version of herself. All these "little things" add up.
Soon enough, it helped her to break the 800m collegiate record and become a national champion. Looking back, Fray feels as if a big reason for her success was due to the amount of support she received from her coaches, teammates, friends and family.
As a professional now, she doesn't takes each training seriously. To this day, she treats each practice like a meet.
She says she even still gets pre-race jitters, too. Before the pandemic became evident in the US, Fray and her training partners would take turns on who would lead the pack. This became key for her.
Being able to practice leading a pack, being boxed in, or being in the back, helped Fray to be able to respond to any kind of situation.
Even though this isn't a typical season for her, she used this time to learn to practice on her own and to be strong-minded. In the beginning, Fray struggled to believe that she was worth and capable of racing against the best. Now, she understands, she actually is one of the best.