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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Bethune

Vlog with Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix is one-time National Champion, two-time Commonwealth Champion and two-time European Champion across 10 metre diving and 10 metre synchronised diving.

Andrea picked up gold for England in the 10m diving during the Commonwealth Games this year.

Andrea is just 18 years old.

She is also a former primary pupil of Teachappy Founder, Adrian Bethune.

After her most successful year to date, Adrian caught up with her to find out how she copes with the pressure of performing at an elite level and what practical things she does to keep her feet firmly on the ground (or diving board).

Here’s what she had to say…

What tools do you use to manage stress?

Performing at an elite level, at any age, comes with stresses and challenges. Other elite athletes have talked openly about the tools they use to manage stress. Fellow diver, Tom Daley, has previously described how he turns to mindful meditation to help keep his nerve.

So, how, at such a young age, does Andrea cope with the stresses of competition?

In this clip Andrea discusses the importance of family, the support of her coach as well as using distraction techniques at competitions to keep herself grounded.

How have you overcome fear?

Mental blocks can be a common occurrence in elite sport. In an interview with the BBC Andrea was open about the fear she experienced at the top of the 10-metre diving board and about how close she came to leaving the sport all together.

However, having overcome her fear, she then went on to have the most successful competing year of her career so far.

So, how did she overcome her fear and use it to excel in her sport?

How do supportive relationships help you compete?

From the outside it can seem that individual competitive sports might be a lonely place compared to team sports. So, just how important are relationships for Andrea?

Here, she speaks about relationships as a cornerstone to her success - from the support of her family (with her younger brother and mum a constant presence poolside), the guidance of her coach and the comradery of her fellow divers.

How do you stay humble?

Despite winning many accolades and awards (including BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2020) Andrea remains grounded and humble about her successes. So just how does she keep perspective?

In this clip Andrea talks about the sense of gratitude she has for the people around her, recognition of the team work it takes to get to where she has and the importance of making mistakes to continue learning.

How important is it to have fun?

Elite sport is a serious business, so how does Andrea ensure she continues to enjoy what she’s doing and just how important is it to have fun during training?

‘This is your life’

Adrian revisits some of Andrea’s school reports from when he taught her in Year 4. Do they predict her future success and what does Andrea remember from her primary school days?

Have you seen our vlog with Academic Psychologist, Dr Lucy Foulkes? Watch Adrian and Dr Foulkes discuss some of the topics from her latest book "What Mental Health Really Is...(and what it isn't)".

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