I am now back at Lilleshall, the National Sports Centre, training with the rest of the British Squad in preparation for the Olympic Qualifier on 10th January. We would normally get about a week off over Christmas, but with the test event so soon after the New Year we will now only get Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day off, to ensure we maintain our fitness and stamina. I will still get to enjoy my Christmas dinner, only this year it will be in much smaller portions and there will definitely be no extra helpings of trifle and Christmas pudding!
Everything the GB Squad are doing at the moment is focused on the Olympic Qualifier and we are all working extremely hard on our routines, trying to eliminate any errors to ensure we get it right this time. The team for the Qualifier won’t be selected for another couple of weeks, and there are definitely no guaranteed places for past successes. Everyone in the GB squad has the chance to make the team; getting the correct result in January is the most important thing. Only after the test event will we get a chance to relax before we head off to Mexico at the end of January for a GB training camp.
Not only do I have to ensure that I peak physically for January, but I now have to cope with the added pressure of expectation due to my higher profile and previous successes at the European and World Championships. When I first moved from the Junior to the Senior circuit, I used to go into every competition with the attitude that I had nothing to lose and with it came the medals, titles, records and sponsorship. Now I go into every competition with a huge amount of expectation and it is the Juniors who are now after my medals, titles and records. My mental preparation is really important. It’s something that I’ve had to work hard on over the last couple of years with the help of British Gymnastics.
Thanks for all your support and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.