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Castore athlete series - Q & A with Courtney Tulloch
Having started training as a gymnast at the age of 8 and demonstrating a natural aptitude for the sport, Courtney accelerated rapidly through the youth ranks winning Gold at the Junior European Championships 2012. He has since won the British rings title twice and added a European silver medallion April 2017, becoming the first ever British athlete to medal in that particular discipline. Still only 21, Courtney is now firmly focussed on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where a gold medal is the ultimate target.
Are you happy with where you are at this stage in your career?
Although I am disappointed with the outcome of the summer as I felt I was physically and mentally ready to compete for my country in Rio, I am happy with where I am at. I know I am on the right road to where I want to be, there are a lot of things I would like to improve on and achieve in the sport that I haven’t done so already. I am still only 21 years of age and in gymnastics that is still very young I have not peaked yet and I have time on my side when it comes to achieving the goals I have set myself.
What are your key goals in the next 12 months?
My first goal in the next 12 months is to be selected for the European championships in Romania in April. In order to get there, I must do well at the British championships before that. In both of these completion my aim is to win gold on rings and place top 3 on vault and p.bars
After this there are world championships in October in Canada, it’s my aim to be selected in the team for this! Help the team win a medal and also get a medal on rings. The European championships is a good stepping stone for this.
What are you aiming to achieve in Tokyo 2020?
From a young age in gymnastics my mindset for competing has been that of a winning mentality. So for me Tokyo is no different, I want to go to Tokyo, make a rings final and aim to win as many medals as possible for my country.
What aspects of your routine are you most focussed on improving before Tokyo?
A key element to improve on in my routine is my dismount from the rings, the difference between sticking the landing and taking a step or hop is enough to put you from first place to last place. Therefore,dismounting with certainty of sticking the landing increases my chances of medalling.
Are you doing anything differently in your training to maximise your chances at Tokyo?
Yes, recently as I have got a little bit older I have joined a weights gym and have been also using the recovery facilities there eg. Jacuzzi, sauna. When you are younger you spend all your time in the gym and doing weight training isn’t so important. Also the way I training is a lot smarter, doing 5 of one skill perfectly is better and less strain on your body then doing 10 poorly executed skills. This means my training sessions are much more efficient and effective.
Which athlete from another sport do you admire and why?
Leading up to 2012 Olympics, Mo Farah as an athlete stuck out for me, his dedication to his sport and country is admirable, as is his willingness to keep improving and staying motivate in his sport. Being double Olympic champion in 2012 and then to do it again in 2016 must not be easy. When you’re at the top and you’re the best at what you do motivation to keep going must be hard with no one to try and beat or test yourself against.
What single characteristic would you say is most important in becoming Olympic champion?
Hardiness is I think, a key personality trait for an athlete to have. As an athlete you are required to be resilient against knocks and setbacks in your career in order to get to where you want to be.
What does a day in the life of Courtney Tulloch look like?
So a normal day for me is to wake up early have a little bit for breakfast and head down to the weights gym. I like training early because there are less people there and I like to just put my headphones in and have no distractions. After this in would get home get showered have something to eat and head to Pegasus gym club at 1 which is where I do my training. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays lighter days and training consists mainly of prep work. On a Tuesday and Friday I would do a double session and train 1-4 and then 5-7.30, on these days I focus on routines, completing 2 routines on each piece. Evening sessions are skill based conditioning. When I get home it is important to me to have some time to chill, I usually enjoy watching seasons on Netflix to take my mind away from the gym.
What’s your favourite piece of Castore clothing and why?
I struggle finding t-shirts to fit my arms without them being too tight and uncomfortable to train in. Castores T-shirts fit me comfortably and the material is perfect to train in.