Adam Peaty: European Championships success down to finding fun and embracing pressure

Media playback is not supported on this device

Adam Peaty: 'I perform better under pressure'

Adam Peaty says the key to winning four gold medals at the European Championships was savouring every moment and embracing the expectations.

Peaty won his 12th European title in Glasgow, with victories in the 50m and 100m breaststroke as well as the men's 4x100m relay and 4x100m mixed medley.

He told BBC East Midlands Today: "I went out and just enjoyed it. If you enjoy it, everything is a lot easier.

"In the 100m, I thought 'let's have a laugh and see what I've got'."

'I perform better under pressure'

The 100m success, which saw him win in 57.10 seconds and better his own world record time by 0.03 seconds, was the 23-year-old's third of his four gold medals and confirmed a return to his dominant best after the "setback" of losing his 50m Commonwealth title in April.

Peaty was surprisingly beaten by South African Cameron van der Burgh in Australia, ending a four-year unbeaten streak.

It was a loss that riled him and made him even more determined in Glasgow.

Media playback is not supported on this device

GB's Peaty breaks breaststroke world record to win gold

"I knew the pressure was on but I prefer pressure and perform better under pressure," he added.

"But I always say to myself before I go out 'stay calm' and that is what I did.

"It doesn't matter what you do, even if it is the hardest job in the world, if you enjoy the job it is easier.

"Glasgow was amazing. It was an incredible experience. It was the first ever European Games so it was great to see Britain doing so well."

Learning from 'failure'

Peaty said the combination of not being at his physical peak and allowing himself to be distracted by times and medals, rather than the process, played a big part in being below par for the Commonwealth Games.

Retaining his 100m title and securing silver over the shorter distance in a competition that he was not wholly focusing would have been a more than satisfactory return for most people.

He said his success in Scotland was down to "not thinking about medals", but simply "about getting the best version of myself".

"Coming out of the Commonwealths, I didn't know what was going on," Peaty continued.

"In Tokyo, if I start thinking about medals and world records they will not come to me. I have to go out there give the best performance and let them come to me.

"That is the mindset I went with in with. I continue to learn - that is the most important thing off the back of the Commonwealth Games.

"In Glasgow in the heats, I knew I was on form. It was a relief to go 57.7. You have to cut yourself some slack and going 57.7 is very fast for the heats."

His success proved the worth in understanding the importance of not losing focus or "wasting energy".

His complete trust in long-term coach Mel Marshall, who has coached him since the age of 14, continues to be the driving force behind his mental strength.

Peaty said: "Athletes need that unique relationship and that is something we have. We are professional but good friends. We know how to get results and work hard.

"She makes the decision, she is the boss and I like that because if I was trying to make too many decisions, focusing on different areas, on communicating with physios and nutritionists and x, y and z, that takes all my energy and then it becomes harder.

"She isn't afraid to learn new things, like me, and it great to have her by my side.

"She has been there and done and it's now how we can settle in routines and with the team around Loughborough."

Top Stories