Great Britain’s Jenna McCorkell believes a complete restructuring of her training environment will be the key to helping her set a personal best score at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
At the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver the figure skater could only manage a 29th-place finish in the ladies singles event.
And after Team GB was awarded a place in next year’s showpiece by the International Skating Union, the Northern Irish athlete will be the first in line to take advantage and make amends.
The 27-year-old admitted she learnt a great deal from her experiences in Canada and is confident that having changed how she prepares for big competitions, as well as her coaching team, she will be able to improve on her first appearance at a Winter Olympics.
“I’m pretty excited about going to my second Olympics. It’s starting to feel a bit more real now that it’s getting closer and closer,” said McCorkell.
“Now that the season’s started as well, we’re getting into mid-season, it’s getting exciting.
“I learnt a lot from Vancouver. I learnt a lot preparation wise – how I will enter the Games will be different from how I approached Vancouver.
“In Vancouver I was just a bit in shock and over-awed with that. I’ve changed my entire coaching team and changed the entire set-up since then and it seems to be going well so far.
“I haven’t set myself a target for Sochi yet. I’m still working towards what I can do with my new programme so a personal best would probably be the best thing I could hope for. We’ll see – you never know!
“Training is obviously a little bit more hyped up in an Olympic year. The competitions are a little bit more intense, you need to meet scores to qualify so that becomes a little bit more important.
“With us already having had our qualification back in March it gives you quite a long time to prepare for the Games so we know long enough in advance that, even though it’s not yet 100% official, you know you’re pretty much there.
“You have to make certain scores for the BOA and I’ve reached those scores already so now it’s just waiting so we can announce it if everything goes OK.”
McCorkell will be looking to add an 11th British figure skating championship to her tally at the British National Championships later this month, while she also has events overseas during the winter.
And she is hopeful an injury-free run into Sochi will mean she should be in the best condition possible to produce her best yet.
“I’ve got a competition next week in Latvia, then I’ve got the British National Championships, then I’m off to Zagreb in December, European Championships in January and then Sochi,” she added.
“It’s quite a busy schedule, I’ve already done two events as well. I’m hoping to be in top form by the time I get to Sochi. We hope to plan it out so it works well.”
(c) Sportsbeat 2013