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David Carry column

David Carry
David Carry won two golds for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

David Carry
By David Carry
Scottish swimmer at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi

In a series of three columns, Scotland's Commonwealth gold medal winner David Carry will be offering a look from inside Team Scotland's camp, reporting on his preparations in Doha, progression through the competition in Delhi and reaction after the Games.

With less than a week before the first race at the Commonwealth Games and only two days before we fly into Delhi, all the hard work is done.

Now it's all about taper time, a pre-race period of fine-tuning and resting, every athlete's favourite part of training.

Our camp, run alongside the English and Welsh swimming teams, gives us an excellent opportunity to prepare in a focused and relaxed environment and also helps the team gel as a unit, a crucial part of being a successful team.

This may seem odd as we are a group of individual athletes, quite often competing against each other.

In my experience, the teams that achieve their full potential are those that offer each other great support, making the effort to get to know and understand their team-mates and look to perform for the team, not just for themselves.

With all the distractions, issues and concerns in Delhi, these Commonwealth Games could provide us with yet more opportunities.

It was on this topic that our team psychologist, Misha Botting, led a discussion on why it is so special to be part of this Scottish Swimming team.

We quickly highlighted that the mutual support we gave each other was key, often coming in unexpected ways.

I gave an example from the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne when sitting in the call room just before my 400m freestyle, I saw Caitlin McClatchy win her race, beating the Australian favourite for the title.

Her face lit up and I saw her sheer joy and excitement. Her smile gave me a huge amount of confidence to go out and experience that same feeling.

From the first race in Melbourne right through to the last, each of us grew in confidence, we all saw opportunities and seized them.

With all the distractions, issues and concerns in Delhi, these Commonwealth Games could provide us with yet more opportunities.

Caitlin McLatchey
Caitlin McClatchey also won two golds at the Melbourne Games

Most of our time during taper is spent relaxing in the hotel and, for the guys, around the PS3 in the team room.

As you can imagine with a group of athletes who have too much energy, it can get quite competitive with James Goddard and Dave Davies being the main protagonists.

The other, more secretive, side of swimming at a major Games is the initiation each new member of the swim team has to go through.

Always entertaining, this year was no exception with the rookies being tasked with X-Factor-style auditions.

Obviously I've been sworn to secrecy on the event but we all felt that a flourishing career lies ahead for Michael Rock once he hangs up his goggles.

So it's off to Delhi on Thursday to settle in to our (hopefully) shiny new athletes' village and begin our final preparations before racing starts on Monday.

Unfortunately the swimming team won't be part of the opening ceremony as we compete on day one but we'll be cheering as the Saltire is marched round the stadium and hopefully flying some of our own Saltires the following day.



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see also
Scots athletes geared for Games
18 Aug 10 |  Scotland
Miley targets Scots Delhi success
18 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Twitter rant costs Rice sponsor
07 Sep 10 |  Swimming


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