All to play for at midway point!
So Christmas is here and as always it heralds the half-way point of our competitive season, a time to reflect on what has happened so far and what is ‘hopefully’ lying ahead!
So where have I got to? Igls provided the backdrop for ICC races 1 and 2, and brought with it several personal bests, I smashed my previous best push times and put down a solid enough drive to also have a new downtime PB on the track! My driving was much improved but still had a couple of small errors and the week left me somewhat frustrated, it did however bring about a 6th and 7th place finish and a vast array of positives to take forward with me!
Altenberg in Germany then brought races 3 and 4 and a similarly steep learning curve! This track has been a mixed bag for me in previous years and the perfect race runs continued to elude me, I did however manage another downtime PB and eventually two 10th place finishes. Again this result frustrated me as a couple of errors crept into what would otherwise have been race winning runs, it did however show me what could be possible with some fine tuning in the future.
Reflection, probably the biggest part of what we do, analysing our performance and moving it forwards. So what can I reflect from the past few weeks? In fairness an awful lot, whilst my race runs were frustrating, my performances and abilities on the sled have improved dramatically. My coach and I decided I had to take a step back last year, to go away and work on a few things to eventually give me a big stride forward in performance. I went away and did everything that was asked and have come back stronger, unfortunately in our sport the amount of practice time to reinforce our learning is extremely limited and whilst I feel I have improved tremendously a couple of errors cost me what could have been, however that stride forward is now tantalising close. What I can conclude from my first half is that when it does finally click I will be more than competitive, and that is the single most important thing driving me forward right now.
So where next? Well I am 27th in the World Rankings, the 3rd ranked GB athlete and looking forward to the second half of the ICC circuit which will see me race at two of my favourite tracks in Whistler and Park City. From there it’s anybody’s guess! Whilst my current results were frustrating for me in that they had the potential (and I had the ability and equipment) to be 1st’s, they are good enough that the Olympics are still a very real possibility. I am incredibly close to being the 2nd ranked GB athlete, my coach (as well as many others) have seen vast improvements, I have the skills and ability to get where I want to be, now I just have to execute it, everything is there and ready, and hopefully, in less than 50 days I can be experiencing my first Olympic Games!