Since stepping onto the diving platform at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games aged 13, Melissa Wu has grown up on the world stage. We spoke to the seasoned international competitor and Funkita sponsored athlete, who is currently competing at the diving world championships in Budapest, about how she psychically and mentally prepares to represent her country.
What does your training regime and diet look like in the lead up to a big competition?
We train the same hours all year round whether we are in or out of the competition season. That involves training 5.5 - 6 hours per day. While I'm away at competitions we are usually limited in food choice, so I try and choose healthy options and include lots of protein and vegetables.
Can you describe your day on a plate?
For breakfast I like to eat eggs on toast and will usually have them with avocado and tomato. Or I like to have muesli with yoghurt and fruit. For lunch I don't like eating too much because it's right before training, so I usually have a small portion of leftover dinner from the night before or a sandwich. For dinner I eat lots of different things, but at the moment I'm loving soup because it's the perfect meal to come home to after training on cold winter nights.
What does your training regime and diet look like in your “down time”?
As our training regime is the same all year round, we don't really get down time, but being at home instead of overseas competing means that I have more control over what I eat. I usually choose to eat lots of protein to give me energy for training and if I go out for dinner, I usually have sushi.
How do you get motivated to train?
If you want to be an elite athlete you have to be motivated to train. I don't usually have to try to get motivated because I'm already driven by my goals and the need to improve, get the best out of myself and achieve the best results possible no matter what.
Obviously diving takes a lot of mental, as well as psychical strength, what kind of training or habits go into preparing for that element of the competition?
Physical and mental strength are extremely important for diving. The 30 hours of training we do each week is all to prepare us physically for competition. It includes not just diving training but also dryland training to improve our technique and strength training in the gym. To prepare mentally for competition I see a psychologist which also includes reviewing my performances afterwards so that I can improve for the next competition.
RELATED: 5 Daily Habits Of An Athlete
What has been the toughest part of your Olympic journey so far?
The toughest part of my journey as an elite athlete has been dealing with bad performances and trying not to let them get to me and bring me down. It's disheartening to work so hard to achieve your goals and not get the results you want but part of the journey is being able to pick yourself up, work even harder and perform better the next time.
And what’s been the most memorable competition moment?
The most memorable competition moment was winning a silver medal at my first ever international competition at Commonwealth Games when I was 13 years old.
If you could go tell your younger self anything, when you were just starting out diving, what would it be?
If I could give my younger self some advice it would be to always be positive and stay strong through tough times because everything will be ok in the end.