Published 21st June 2014 – Eilish McColgan
Nerves can ruin a performance. Years and years of consistent training, commitment and peak fitness can be wasted, all well 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 in July, 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 extremely 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 pretty content with my performance after enduring months of injury but it was a slight anticlimax by the fact I had no one to share it with.
With travelling and racing all over the world, I resort to keeping in contact with my family through the internet, so it means a lot to know they will be in the stadium supporting me.
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 over the years 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.
Yet again, this season hasn’t gone to plan and my preparations have been very inconsistent with bouts of illness but that’s sport.
There are lot more lows and that’s something athletes become accustomed to dealing with. Things are taken back to the drawing board, reassessed and planned accordingly.
I am continuing to remain positive about things and I am confident that I can turn things around within the seven weeks. Every day is crucial and every piece of the puzzle is important. I just hope the puzzle comes together in time.