Sarah Davies will draw on past experience next month when she targets Commonwealth Games glory.
The Garstang weightlifter has arrived on the Gold Coast, in Australia, hoping to win her first major medal on the international stage.
And she is keen to banish the memory of four years ago at the last Games in Glasgow when her nerves and inexperience prevented her from performing to her capabilities. Having only taken up the sport in 2011, Davies had done remarkably well to make the Team England squad just two-and-a-half years later. But her ambition of winning a medal did not materialise as she finished down in seventh spot.
However, older and much wiser now, Davies believes she in a much better place both physically and mentally to fulfil her potential.
“The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was my first big international competition,” Davies said. “If I am being honest, the nerves got the better of me so I did not perform to my best.
“I have looked back at my performances in Glasgow and it looks like I am about to burst into tears the whole time.
“It was obviously a learning curve for me, but I think I will be able to cope with the pressure a lot better this time.
“I have learned how to focus my attentions and not worry about outside pressure.”
Davies first had ambitions of competing at the Commonwealth Games when she was a young girl – and was showing promise as a gymnast. “I remember when I was younger and I was doing gymnastics, the Commonwealth Games were being held in Manchester in 2002,” Davies said.
“I remember thinking at the time – that is what I want to do. I want to go and represent England at a Commonwealth Games.
“But when I stopped doing gymnastics, I thought that was kind of the end of that dream.
“So to get to a Commonwealth Games after less than three years of training as a weightlifter was quite surreal really. Even though I didn’t do as well I hoped, I learned a lot from it.”
Davies admits the fact that she is competing away from home may also benefit her.
“The last Commonwealths were not quite a home Games, but to be so close to home and to have the support of the crowd behind you, it was an amazing experience,” she said.
“I won’t have that home crowd behind me this time which will make it an interesting experience, but one I am looking forward to.”