Beach volleyball duo Jess Grimson and Daisy Mumby lauded their sports psychologist after dialling into their mental resilience to book their trip to Birmingham in dramatic fashion.
Grimson and Mumby won through a tense final-set decider at the Selection Tournament in Crystal Palace to earn their spots on Team England for this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
And after striking up an instant playing bond having joined forces in 2020, the English duo have been accelerating their development and preparing for the pressure moments with the help of sports psychologist Nick Morris.
Mumby, 30, said: “Credit goes to our team as well, we have been working with a very good sports psychologist. We were 9-6 down in the third set and that’s when the mental side of the game really came into play. All the preparation we have been doing on and off the court made the difference for us.
“We’ve been working with Nick for about a year now. We do weekly sessions and one-on-ones. The buzz word for the weekend was faith, faith in each other, the process and ourselves. Just trusting that we had done the work that we needed to do.
“Sticking together as a team, which obviously can be very difficult in beach volleyball because there’s only two of you. It’s very much an individual sport that is played together. Often you will find in a game that one of you is being targeted, so it’s important to support each other and stick with it and that’s what we managed to do and pull out the win.”
Grimson, 31, added: “I’m not historically known for keeping my calm very well, so Daisy man-managed me very well.
“Even being three or four points down, the game is not over. Trusting the process, trusting that we do it every day. It’s a simple game, not letting the occasion get the better of us was the main thing, taking each point at a time - no point means more or less than any other.
“We won’t give too much away because he [Nick] is coming with us to Birmingham. He was a big part of that in refocusing and reframing us because we won the first game then lost the second tightly and we only had an hour before the next one started and our warm-up is an hour.
“We had a very quick chat focusing on the fact there’s not much you can change in that time, but what things could we do to make sure that we won the next one and that was his job which he did very well.”
Grimson reached the quarter-finals on the Gold Coast in 2018 alongside Victoria Palmer but this time is hoping a patriotic home crowd can power her to a medal in the Midlands alongside Mumby.
She explained: “This is a different feeling. Last time was amazing for beach volleyball to be included for the first time. But to play a home Games is a dream come true with friends and family around.
“It has a different edge to it, having the support in the stadium alone, and hopefully getting the country behind Team England as a whole and showcasing beach volleyball for us.
“100 percent our goal is to podium. I don’t know what seed we are going in as yet but we are going for the podium.”