SIMON Terry changed the habit of a lifetime to disastrous effect this year – but admits he has no shame in going back to what he knows best in a bid to reach a third Olympic Games.
Grantham-based Terry made a name for himself as a fresh faced 18-year-old archer at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona – claiming bronze in the individual and team events in Catalonia.
He retired from the sport within 12 months, only to make a comeback in 2005 and three years later returned to the Olympic stage in Beijing but failed to make it out of the first round of both his events.
Now aged 37, Terry looks certain to claim one of the three British men’s places for London 2012, but he has struggled this year – stumbling twice in the second round at the World Championships.
Terry puts his relative woes down to a change in his mental approach – but he is adamant returning to his old ways will see him reap London 2012 Olympic benefits.
He said: “It hasn’t been the best of years I must admit – last year and the year before were really good, and this year I have struggled really from the start.
“I tried to take a different mental approach at the beginning of the year, tried to concentrate a little bit harder and it hasn’t worked at all.
“Every now and then I will have random thought come into my head, it will be nothing strenuous, I will just think ‘oh I can have a curry tonight’ or something random like that and I just wanted to stop that.
“But if I knew then what I know now I would be still keeping that curry thought because it didn’t really used to affect me that much. I think I was thinking a bit too much.
“And it has been a struggle to get back into my old way, it’s taken me the best part of 20 years to perfect, but I am slowly but surely going back to my old way and lessons have very much been learnt.
“I would have liked to have improved a bit quicker but it has taken me the whole year, or at least a season, to get back at it and get back to the old way but it is trial and error.”
Terry’s struggles were typified at the London Archery Classic at Lord’s – the official 2012 test event – where he failed to make it past round one in both the individual and team events.
He was not alone in failing to perform as not one of Britain’s six-strong team garnered a single medal, and despite the hype surrounding London 2012, Terry wanted to play down the Games, not up.
He said: “I don’t really know what to expect from a home Olympics but for me I try not to put the Olympics too much up there and give them too much influence.
“We have World Cup events and pretty much the people at those events are the people I have beaten before so it all depends on what happens on the day, and as long as I shoot my arrows well and progress from there we’ll see what happens.”
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