Scottish Daily Mail

Time to ditch the jitters and be a big hitter


NERVES can ruin a performanc­e. Years of consistent training, commitment and peak fitness can be wasted, all before the gun goes. Preparing mentally for a championsh­ip race is hugely important. For me, it was a primary reason as to why I underperfo­rmed at the London Olympics in 2012. Thrown on to the world stage at the age of 21, I resembled a scared little rabbit. With another home Games on the horizon, I can’t afford to have a repeat scenario. Thankfully for me, I will get to test out the Hampden stadium and shake off any of those pre-race jitters well before the Commonweal­th Games begin. I will be competing in the Glasgow Diamond League next month, the first time this prestigiou­s event has been in Scotland and the first time Glasgow will have experience­d world-class athletics on its doorstep. It’s special for me to know that all my family will be scattered somewhere in the crowd. My parents have been huge supporters in my career but unfortunat­ely they very rarely get to watch me race, with the majority of my competitio­ns being abroad. After my 10th place in the World Championsh­ips last year in Moscow, I was content with my performanc­e after enduring months of injury but it was a slight anti-climax by the fact I’d no one to share it with. With travelling and racing all over the world, I keep in contact with my family through the internet, so it means a lot to know they will be in the stadium supporting me. I’m looking forward to seeing how all the Scottish athletes perform at the Diamond League — it is hugely important going onwards to the Commonweal­th Games. In previous years, I’ve always been a little overwhelme­d being invited to race at the same event as the likes of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah but the excitement has faded slightly as I’ve become more competitiv­e. I used to believe I was lucky to be there, but now I realise I’m there for a reason. I want to improve, I want to run fast, I want to be successful — just like everyone else. This season hasn’t gone to plan and my preparatio­ns have been inconsiste­nt with bouts of illness but that’s sport. I continue to remain positive and I am confident that I can turn things around in the upcoming weeks. Every day is crucial and every piece of the puzzle is important. I just hope the puzzle comes together in time.

Ticketsfor­theSainsbu­ry’sGlasgowGr­andPrixat HampdenPar­konJuly11-12areavail­ablebyvisi­ting http://www.britishath­­letics-series/sainsburys-glasgow-grand-prix/

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