Adam Peaty: 'My coach shouting at me is inspirational but my love of swimming down to inflatables'

James Dickens


It’s fair to say 2016 Rio Olympics were transformational for Adam Peaty. The Derbyshire native became the first British male swimmer in 24 years to win Olympic gold , beating his own World record into the bargain. He went from being a star in his sport (Peaty is also the 2015 world champion, the 2014 and 2016 European champion, and 2014 Commonwealth champion in 100 metre breaststroke, the 2015 World champion and 2014 European champion in 50 metre breaststroke, part of the Great Britain team that won the mixed medley relay world title, and the world record holder in all three events) to a national hero.

He is taking part in a scheme called , supported by Sun Pat, to get kids active during the summer holidays and I caught up with him to ask him about coaching, work/life balance and the benefits of inflatables!

Yahoo Sport: Tell me about the Fueling Families campaign?

Adam Peaty: Winning the Olympics and getting the world record is amazing, but if I can’t relate that to inspiring kids then what is the point really? That is what the Olympics is, representing your country and giving something back to those back home. When I started swimming it was about going to the local baths and messing around on the inflatables with my mates during the summer holidays. With the rise of technology, it’s easy for kids to sit on computer games or smart phone and not go outside. All the memories I have are of playing outside with mates and we want to ensure the next generation have these memories.

We want to create passion. Sun Pat are putting together a summer programme to inspire kids to get outside and get active. It doesn’t matter which sport, Football, Swimming, Cricket, anything really. The programme on their website gives ways for parents to get their kids active, and hopefully create the next generation of Olympians whatever the weather.

YS: How do you balance your training with your life?

AP: Keep the enjoyment. Getting up early and training isn’t for everyone but if the enjoyment is there, it’s so much easier. I started training seriously from the age of 13, but I wanted to play with friends as well, and that is what makes the Sun Pat campaign so good. They are giving away Sport kids all summer which will help people have fun with their friend, keep healthy and with that we stand more of a chance of finding the next generation of Olympians.

YS: Did you take to swimming immediately or did that come with time?

AP: When they got rid of the inflatables, the interest went for me! No, but I always had the love for the swimming, otherwise I wouldn’t have carried on. My parents were a great support and told me to do what I loved. But they also taught me dedication and perseverance. I hated swimming for a while but they helped me through that and I learned to love it as I was improving. I won the Nationals at 16, and Europeans at 17 and the rest is history. Hard work will always find you, I’m a strong believer in that. If I put in the work now, it will find me in major championships.

YS: How do you go about fuelling for the amount of training do?

AP: For me calories is a problem. I eat banana and Sun Pat for breakfast and Sun Pat on Toast after. It’s a well balanced source of energy and protein. Plus, you can eat it out the jar!

JD: There have been widespread reports of bullying in both swimming and cycling. How do you deal with pressure from coaches and is this an issue you have suffered?

AP: Everyone deals with these things differently. I have a coach who understands different people’s needs and moods. For me, I like to be shouted at and told if I don’t train harder I WILL lose in races. For me that works, and for others on the squad it doesn’t. It could be a by-product of the environment and the striving for gold. There are a million people born every day and do be better, you need to find new and better ways to get your performance to a point where you can’t be beaten. I’m lucky that I trust my coach with my life and if she’s shouting me and telling me I’m not good enough I’ll work 10 times harder. That’s just me, I can’t speak for other in my sport or those in other sports.


YS: 50 metres breaststroke for men won’t be in the Olympics and there will be longer distances. Is that bad for Swimming as a spectator sport?

AP: As a spectator sport, yes. There is no denying that, sprints are more engaging for fans. The Athletes, fans or coaches weren’t asked what we wanted, it was just handed down from the governing body and we were told to get on with it. Adding the mixed relay is fun but swimming has so many medals already that we don’t really need any more events.

Credit

Olympic gold Medalist Adam Peaty is working with Sun-Pat Peanut Butter to help get kids active throughout the summer holidays. Sun-Pat will be giving away 10 sports kits every day throughout the summer holidays – to win your pack, and for more ways to keep the kids active this summer, go to http://www.sunpat.co.uk/fuellingfamilies

 

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