Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Michael's Blog: At National Squad Camp

In his latest update for Smiths News, Michael Jamieson reflects on his performance at the Olympic Trials and gives a further insight into the final preparations leading up to the Games in July...

Michael JamiesonI’m back in London this week with the rest of the Olympic qualifiers for the National Squad Camp, allowing us to train for a full week inside the Aquatic Centre and gain some more information about the coming months and the Games themselves. We only have the opportunity to train as a British team once each year and it’s great fun to train with other squad members. There’s an air of excitement and desire in the team as the realisation that we are on our way to becoming Olympians in the summer has set in!

I’ve had time to reflect on the Olympic Trials and firstly I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Smiths News for their support during the meet. I’ve never experienced anything like the support I had during the Trials and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it helped me, particularly to rebound from the disappointment of the 100m and gain qualification in the 200m Breaststroke, so thank you all!

The trials was a hugely emotional week, particularly after I missed out qualification for the 100m by 0.03seconds – it set up an extremely nerve wracking few days. In the lead-up to the event, I was confident that I was dealing with the nerves and pressures well but on reflection, realised I hadn’t! It’s difficult to understate the occasion; it really was a life changing event. Eight or nine years of training and preparation for my selection to the Games, funding situation and all the choices and sacrifices made over the years, to hang in the balance of just one race. This played on my mind and as the meet got closer, I began to get more negative stress about it. I still believe coping with nerves, pressures and stresses of competition is strength of mine but the Olympic Trials was something completely different and due to the implications, isn’t something I think you can prepare for.

I didn’t have a great taper in the three weeks preceding the competition, I felt that the travel back from Australia just three weeks before the meet was a little too close and I could have rested a little more for my events, all in hindsight of course. Despite being an experienced athlete, this is all still a learning process in search of the perfect swim. The positives to take from this are that I have made the team despite not feeling my best. I know I am capable of swimming much faster in the summer. The goal is to make the final and hopefully the 17,500 thousand strong partisan crowd will play a part in helping me home on the last 50m to challenge for a medal!

Due to my performances at the Trials, I have no added pressure or expectancy to deliver medals at the Games. This clearly has its advantages and I like the idea of going in under the radar. This could be my only opportunity to swim in an Olympic Games and I intend to leave no stone unturned in the coming months in my search for a life changing Olympic medal!

Great post, thank you Michael! Note the above photo shows him posing in his Team GB kit - how cool is that? You'll find the same photo and a little bit more about Michael on his page on the Team GB website :)

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