Winning in Glasgow Would Be A Dream For Jamieson

The summer of 2012 was one to remember for Michael Jamieson as the Glasgow native won Olympic silver in London, but next year’s Commonwealth Games, which will be held in his home town may be even more important to him, “The Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport and it was always my target. But, as soon as Glasgow was announced, I started thinking about both Games on a day-to-day basis,” Jamieson told Mark Wilson of the Daily Mail. “As much as I enjoyed London, Glasgow could be even bigger for me. For different reasons.”

In an incredibly intriguing interview with the Daily Mail Jamieson shares just how much Glasgow has motivated him, how tough it was for him as a 19 year old living in France and how maturity has given him more belief in his dedication to the sport.

Jamieson tells Wilson that the dedication that he put in growing up is what makes the 2014 Commonwealth Games that just that much more special, “That’s where I grew up. That’s the pool where, so many mornings, I would wake up and think: “Nope, I need a new career, this isn’t working…”

“I spent so many age-group years flogging up and down there. So it couldn’t be any closer to home. And it still feels like home.”

“I’m so keen to make the most of this chance because it’s easy for people to say the Olympics was once in a lifetime. People get bored reading that but it’s hard to put it any other way.”

“And Glasgow is like that, even more so for me. It’s what I wanted to do when I was a kid.”

One of the constant themes that Jamieson speaks about is how tough it is and has been to stay confident and focused through his career when the challenges in the pool on a daily basis can be so demanding, “You know, some of the things you can think up when you are tired are frightening,” says Jamieson, “Wondering if you’ve just lost it, mainly.”

“You come in one day, you’re struggling through a session and you think: “Is that it? Am I ever going to get back to the times I was doing a few weeks ago, even?.”

“Self-belief and confidence are two completely different aspects of psychology. I’ve always had self-belief that I’d reach the level I wanted, because I’m not scared of the workload.”

“But confidence is more superficial, the day-to-day doubts. That’s something I’ve never been good at managing. ‘In the difficult times in the past, I always thought it was going to pay off. But that was a deep down thing. On a daily basis, I used to think: “This isn’t working.”

This is when he uses the thoughts of the games in Glasgow the most, “That’s when I think about the Commonwealth Games. Just like London was in the build-up to the Olympics, it’s in your head every day, every training session you do. Every time that voice creeps in saying “I’m too tired for this”, the thought of Glasgow makes you push on and see it through.”

He is very open about the fact that before he saw real success he often thought that the training would never pay off and that he was sacrificing too much for the sport. This was something that he told Wilson he was faced with when as a 19 year old he followed his coach at the time, Fred Vergnoux, to Paris, “I couldn’t even afford to eat properly,” said Jamieson. “Porridge. Plain boiled rice. And potatoes. It’s not for an athlete. I was basically just filling myself up with the cheapest foods I could find. I couldn’t afford to eat red meat, because it was too expensive.”

“My coach knew I was skint but I never let on how tight it was. Every month or so, though, he would jump up to my flat with a bunch of steaks to keep me going.”

“I felt like it was an experience I had go to through, I guess. But that was the last year I could take. I had been plateauing for a few seasons – and I was thinking it would either happen now or not at all.”

“It paid off. I look back on Paris now and laugh about it. But it is scary, wondering what would have happened if it hadn’t worked out. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t made it in swimming, because this was all I really planned for.”

But with maturity came success and with success came confidence in his training and his sacrifices,”In some ways, it’s easier for me because I can see it paying off. In other ways it’s harder because I wonder if I can get back to those heights again. That’s always the to-ing and fro-ing that goes on in your head.”

He also told Wilson that it helps that in Bath there are many athletes from not only swimming who are going through the same process, “But you know that you are sharing similar goals and targets, that they’re struggling with training as much as you are. I like having people around who feel the same way.”

“It’s a contrast to my time in Paris, when the real problem was that I wasn’t producing results. I was 19 and I wanted it all to happen really quickly. It all paid off, in the end – but it didn’t half take its time.”

You can read the full article here 





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About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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