10 minutes with Olympic diver Tonia Couch

20 April 2017 by
First published: 20 January 2017

From competition superstitions to training with Tom Daley, we get the goss in 10 minutes with diver Tonia Couch.

What was the best part about competing in the Olympics

It was amazing to have my coach Andy Banks with me the whole way. He has been there for me from the very start of my training and career so being able to share the experience of our third Olympics together was incredible.

What is the worst?

I got homesick being away from friends and family for five weeks.

What do you eat when competing?

Usually, I have quite a relaxed attitude to food and allow myself the odd chocolate bar, but when I’m competing I cut back on the snacks and stick to a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and protein to keep my energy levels up.

Do you have superstitions when competing?

I won’t paint my nails the day before a competition. It sounds strange, but I’ve painted them twice before and each time I dived badly, so now I won’t do it. Apologies if you see me with chipped nails on the television.

What’s next for you?

I enjoyed two months off after the Rio Olympics and now I am back to training for the World Series in synchronised diving. Further than that, I am looking towards the next Commonwealth Games and of course the next Olympics.

Do you enjoy being in the public eye and how do you cope with the pressure this adds?

I’m lucky that I mostly get lovely comments; it’s very motivating getting that support from people. I’m a real girly girl so I love all the comments from young girls just asking me for random advice and enquiring where my clothes are from.

How often do you train on the ground versus on the board?

Sixty per cent of the time I train in the gym and the remainder of time in the pool. I like mixing it up and incorporating weights and gymnastics into my training.

How much of your training is general fitness and how much is it technique and diving practice?

There isn’t much cardio in my training, so if I want to hit the treadmill I do this in my own time. I do a mixture of gymnastics, trampolining and weight training – there is a lot of strength work!

What else do you do for cross training?

I love being outside so I’ll either be walking my dogs or training outside with friends. I also, incorporate hill sprints and press-ups into a long walk.

Who would you love to train with?

I would love to train with Tom Daley again. We used to train together until he moved to Leeds. I would also love to train with the whole GB diving team regularly. When we get together it’s one big laugh, but we all work really hard.

What do you like to do outside of your training and competing?

I don’t have much spare time, but when I do I catch up with friends and family I love going on small breaks away with my boyfriend.

Do you consider yourself to be a role model?

I don’t tend to think about that much, but it would be nice to think I am a role model to young girls with diving aspirations.

What’s on your bucket list?

There used to be loads of countries on my bucket list, but I’ve been lucky to visit most of them through diving. The only thing left is an Olympic medal!

Tonia Couch is part of the new Everyone Active Sporting Champion’s programme. For more information, visit easportingchampions.com.