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Tom Daley reflects on Tokyo Olympics pressure and training regime during Attitude cover shoot

Exclusive: The Team GB star shows off his physical and mental strength as we go behind the scenes of his recent shoot for the Attitude July issue.

By Will Stroude

Tom Daley is heading into his fourth consecutive Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer – but while the physical rigors of training for the world’s biggest sporting event haven’t let up over the years, Team GB star Tom has certainly learned how to handle the mental ones better.

As the 27-year-old opens up about balancing family and fatherhood with Olympic gold medal dreams in the Attitude July issue – out now to download and to order globally – we go behind the scenes of Tom’s Attitude cover shoot with diving partner Matty Lee to get the low-down on his Olympic preparations ahead of July’s competition in the Japanese capital.

“My training schedule is pretty intense at the moment,” Tom tells us, in between showing off his gymnastic abilities during his Attitude cover shoot with Matty and photographer Eddie Blagbrough.

“We’re building into the Olympic Games so we’re training six days a week up to about six hours a day, involving dry land stuff like gymnastics, trampolining, yoga, cardio, weightlifting…

“Pretty much, you name it, we do it, because we have to train pretty much every single muscle in our body to withstand 35mph impact into the water from 10m.

“So, it’s pretty intense – but hopefully it’ll be worth it!”

The father-of-one, who secured a bronze medal in the men’s 3m synchro at Rio 2016 with former partner Dan Goodfellow, adds: “I would have to say, the best thing is the fact our job is to stay in shape, and I love to exercise and I love the endorphins you get from diving off the 10m board.”

While Tom’s Olympic outing in Rio resulting in a podium finish with Dan, heartbreak followed in the solo men’s 10m platform competition when the Portsmouth-born diver crash out before the final – despite putting in a record-breaking Olympic performance just the day before.

Reflecting on the pressure he feels ahead of his next shot at Olympic glory in Tokyo, Tom says he’s learned to keep his sporting performance in perspective.

“Pressure is a funny word to me: it can overwhelm you and you can let it take control of you, or you can take control of the pressure,” Tom says.

“I think the best way to deal with pressure is to put things into perspective: Yes, the Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on the planet, but [it’s] Olympic ‘Games’ – it’s just a game.

“It’s basically like playing Monopoly with your family!”

Read the full interview in the Attitude July issue, out now.

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