I set goals, but they're mostly very personal goals. I never try and set a goal where 'I want to win this,' or 'I want to do this,' where other people can affect what I do. If I want to swim a new best time, I sit down and work out the best way of doing that. Whether I can shave a few tenths of a second off a turn or the start, my goal is putting them all together in a race. That's the way I set my goals.
You've got to put a lot of hard work in and it's not just in the swimming pool. You've got to look after yourself, you've got to sleep well and you've got to recover between the sessions, whether that's resting or getting the right food inside you. I always try to get the best out of myself and strive for perfection.
Education is fantastic. In my case I had to split my university course so it took a few more years. I really want to excel at everything I do, so I sat down and spoke with both my swimming coach and my tutor and we worked out a good plan to get the best out of both my swimming and my education.
Swimming has given me a lot. It's given me a respect for people and different cultures around the world when I've been competing abroad. I've learnt many life skills and met so many friends around the world that I might not have had otherwise. I'm focused and driven and I guess swimming has made me that way.
I've got a strength and conditioning coach, a weights coach, but I've also got a nutritionist, a physiotherapist and a masseur available to me if I need it. It's quite a good network. I've also got sports scientists who record the technical information, so that, after the race, we can analyse the video and check comparisons between, not only me and the other competitors, but me and my best performance. I couldn't do it without these guys, but I'm the one who gets all the credit.
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