WATCH: Loughborough Sports Psychologist Speaks on Adam Peaty’s Return from Injury


  • Friday, July 29 – Wednesday, August 3, 2022
  • Birmingham, England
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    • Finals: 7:00 pm local / 2:00 pm ET
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Adam Peaty heads into his third Commonwealth Games as the favorite in the men’s breaststroke, a familiar spot for the two-time Olympic champion in the 100 breast. While he’s still the favorite, they 27-year-old has had a tough lead up to the Games, suffering a broken foot that forced him to miss World Championships.

Peaty trains at Loughborough University. Ahead of the Birmingham meet, the university spoke with one of their senior lecturers in Performance Psychology and Management, Dr. David Fletcher, about how Peaty may be coping with his return to competition from injury.

“An athlete like Adam Peaty always has pressure and expectations surrounding his performance in major championships,” Dr. Fletcher explained. “He’ll just be focused on his performance and not too worried about his rivals. Someone like Adam is so experienced that he’ll be able to focus on the aspects of his training and preparation that he knows that he needs to execute really well to perform at his very best.”

The Commonwealth Games are Peaty’s first international competition since the Tokyo Olympics. After the Olympic Games, Peaty took a break from the pool. He appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, a UK reality competition show, where he reportedly also injured his ankle.

Given the question mark of Peaty’s form, Dr. Fletcher spoke about how Peaty might handle his competition when some athletes may be sensing weakness. “They’ll know ultimately that they are going to have to perform at their best and probably better than they’ve ever performed before even just to get close to Adam,” Fletcher said.

He qualified this statement though, adding that “For any top-level athlete, probably the worst mistake that you can make leading into a high-level competition is to focus too much on your rivals. It’s all about focusing on the things that you can control as an athlete and as a performer.”

For Peaty’s part, he described the broken foot as “one of the best things to ever happen to [him.]” He said the injury forced him to slow down, and reminded him “what’s important.”

Peaty is slated to race the 50 and 100 breast, as well as Team England’s men’s and mixed medley relays.

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About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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