The last minute mindset heading into London.....
Hello everyone! The sun has finally made an appearance! Woo hoo! Just in time for the Olympics although inhale, just heard that it may rain for the opening ceremony! Nooooooo! We have had enough rain to last a long time! But at the moment I am like a giddy schoolgirl waiting for Christmas to arrive as that's how I'm feeling about the countdown to London 2012. I will be doing the commentary for the badminton on the BBC and I cannot wait. I still have these moments though where I flashback to being an athlete and sometimes I feel like I am actually going to compete! But a media position is my new role as well as a cheerleader for all our GB athletes. It is really hard to describe what the athletes will be feeling right now.
The best way I can put it is that it's like revising for the biggest exam of your life. There is always that feeling of - have I prepared enough, have I trained enough, have I practiced enough, and what are my opponents up to? I was permanently stressed in the year up to a games. My teeth were ground down, my nails had no chance and my family and friends had to be very understanding with my mood swings! It is all about dealing with emotions in sport and with the Olympic Games, these emotions are doubled, tripled and quadrupled. The athletes who are successful are not necessarily the ones that are most talented, but the ones that hold their nerve better than the others. The athletes will be tapering down their training now and it will be the fine tuning and for badminton, this would involve match practice and discussing tactics.
They will also be heading to the Olympic village and getting used to their new home and the facilities like the dining room. There is every food you could possibly imagine in the dining room and it is really hard to stop yourself from eating everything that is available! It is also important not to get too carried away with all the other distractions like games rooms, shows and other athletes! Boredom can creep in as you are waiting for your event so I took loads of DVD box sets as well as cards and my laptop. Most athletes will stay away from social media and even their phone as it is important to stay focused and not have your mum calling every minute to check if you’re okay. And believe me, my mum did try! At one point it was every hour so I had to cut her off!
But the great thing about the Olympic village is getting to know the other Team GB athletes and supporting them as they head off to their competitions. I was flat mate with Amir Khan in Athens and Andy and Jamie Murray in Beijing, so it was great to chat to other athletes in different disciplines to share advice and help with the nerves! The nerves soon disappear though when you see the other competitors in your sport. Then you realise it is just another badminton tournament, but on a much bigger scale! I loved the moment when I walked into the Goudi complex in Athens and the university in Beijing and saw all the other badminton players, because I felt myself relax. I even said hello to some of them! I then realised that I knew that I had done all the hard work and now it was just about believing in myself and all the hard training that I had done.
That is my advice to all the members of Team GB in London. Be proud and all you can do is be the best that you can be. You have done all the training, and now it is time to show the world what you can do and what you can achieve. Believe.
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