It is good to accept there are times when you will be nervous, according to UK Paralympian champion Ellie Simmonds, who admitted she performed best when she felt nerves.
Kicking off the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII), in a conversation with Athos Rushovich, dSimmonds revealed she was also really nervous ahead of competing in the pool or on Strictly Come Dancing last year.
“I get really, really nervous,” Simmonds said., who won eight Olymipc medals during her swimming career, including five gold.
“I think I was most nervous on Strictly just because when you’re standing on the ballroom floor and there is all the judges and you know people are watching you at home and it’s dark and they’ve got the light on you and they say, dancing the cha cha cha and you’re thinking gosh I’ve got to remember the dance moves and routine.
“But I think what I learned – especially going to London 2012 – was that I was super nervous. The pressure of the games, the expectation from people and sponsors and the public was just immense.
“I used a psychologist and just knowing I had done all of the hard work and did all of the training helped. I use mindfulness. I use the app even now Headspace. I’m also into yoga.”
Simmonds added it was good to accept that you will have nerves.
“It shows you care. It’s just that adrenalin rush, that adrenalin that you want to do well.
“I don’t know about you, but I get nervous for a few minutes and then all of a sudden it goes. Its just about being okay and realising that it’s just nerves because your body is just getting ready for that fight or flight mode.
“When I had a race and I wasn’t nervous, I panicked. I used to think where are my nerves? Because when I had nerves I used to swim at my best. So it was about just grounding and being okay that I had nerves.”