Great Britain hockey forward Rob Moore admits it became depressing playing in major international tournaments knowing there was little chance of winning a medal.
However, the 31-year-old Surbiton player will make an appearance in his third Olympics on Monday evening, when Great Britain open their campaign against Argentina, knowing those dark days have long gone.
Moore is looking forward to be able to mount a serious challenge in front of a home crowd. "Every tournament you go to you want to be threatening for medals and there was something really quite depressing about knowing you would have to get really lucky to get up to that end of the tournament," he said.
"If you go back five years we didn't have the ability to play this style and now we have world-class players. We have real depth in the group so we can play a higher brand of hockey.
"There are risks but we are going out to get the rewards rather than the disaster side of things - and I don't necessarily think it is that polar."
Coach Jason Lee, who instigated the more offensive change, gives his players the chance to express themselves without fear of recriminations and that approach has been embraced by the players over the last four years.
"A lot of it has come from Jason, who has tried to make us feel comfortable in ourselves and our making mistakes," added Moore, who made his debut in 2003 and is the second most-capped player in the squad.
"It is about the dynamic and the ethos we have built up in the team and the ethos, the way we deal with each other failures. It gives you a freedom not to worry about that. Jason has always said even if things go a little bit wrong he will never get at us for that and as team-mates we would never get at each other.
"So we will definitely be able to come out the other end saying we have given everything to win a gold."
Great Britain's women are waiting to discover the extent of the injury to captain Kate Walsh after she was taken to hospital last night after being hit in the face with the stick during the comprehensive 4-0 victory over Japan.