Road to Rio with Jack Laugher: Fantastic season was a dream come true

Jack in full flight during a dive.
Jack in full flight during a dive.

It was really nice to have a break in August after the World Championships and just to spend some time with my family and friends and it’s something you don’t get much time to do during the season.

I spent quite a bit of time at home and got to catch up with friends from school and just hang out and relax.

I had four weeks off in total so it was quite hard to get back into training, especially the first week back where my body was in a lot of pain. It was an unbelievable season for me, and getting two bronze medals in the synchro and individual at the World Championships in Kazan was a dream come true.

Then there was the World Series where I got three gold medals and won the overall series, so altogether it was just a great year.

But there is always room for improvement and definitely more to come from me. I have to just put the hours in and work on the little things. It’s about trying to rectify mistakes that I made last year. It’s going to be incredibly hard to follow up on what I did in 2015 but it’s about building on that year and trying to improve all the time.

Getting the Rio 2016 quota places for Team GB at the World Championships in both the synchro and individual was huge and means there is less pressure on us this year leading up to Rio and maybe be a little bit braver in what we try.

I’ll be working hard throughout the winter as our next competition will not be until the nationals in January.

I train at the City of Leeds Diving Club so I will be spending a lot of time there. I actually learnt to dive at Harrogate Diving Club but moved to the City of Leeds in 2011. I’m coached by Ady Hinchcliffe and he’s always keeping me busy with plenty of training.

As divers we’re a close group as we spend a lot of time together, but my synchro partner Chris Mears and I spend even more time together as we actually share a flat.

But fortunately we get on well with each other and we share the same interests, even if Chris isn’t as keen on playing the Playstation as I am – he’s more into his music. Away from training we do lots of different things to relax. Myself and a few of the other diving guys like Chris recently went paint-balling which was a lot of fun and there were a few bruises for certain people, including myself. It’s important to get that break from diving as it does take up a lot of your time, both training and competing.

We have got a few camps before then firstly in America and then Australia just before Christmas so we’ll be packing up to head off soon.

Both camps will be really good warm weather training, plus they are outside pools, like in Rio, so it will be great for preparation.

At camps there’s always a lot more of a relaxed feel to it compared to when you are at competitions or building up to one; you can really notice the difference in atmosphere. I really enjoy the training camps, getting to hang out with the guys and the training is really fun, although we are still working hard.

It’s a really exciting time for the group of divers heading out there and I haven’t been to Australia for a while either so I’m looking forward to that and then we’ll be back for Christmas and into the new competition season.

I can’t afford to get too carried away in thinking about Rio as there is still a lot to happen between now and then.

l Aldi are proud supporters of Team GB. Hear more from Jack Laugher in next month’s blog in the Harrogate Advertiser and Ripon Gazette.