He might be a double world record holder, Commonwealth champion and European gold medallist but there is little chance of Adam Peaty getting carried away with his own hype.

The 20-year-old cemented his status as one of the world’s finest swimmers last week as he smashed the 100m breaststroke world record at the British Swimming Championships.

It was a ruthless performance that saw him decimate Cameron van der Burgh’s previous record by 0.54 seconds and, in the process, become the first man to swim below 58 seconds.

Next on the horizon for Peaty is this summer’s World Championships before the small matter of the Olympics next year.

And as he heads to Russia to take on the world he might be forgiven for considering himself favourite for gold in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

But there isn’t a hint of over-confidence from the youngster, instead just an assured air that hard work, preparation and a touch of self-doubt will be enough to see him through.

“I’ve done a lot of work with (sports psychologist) Bill Beswick and something he said really clicked,” said Peaty.

“He said ‘don’t fear the occasion, embrace it and be a warrior’ so ever since that I have got my head down.

“I just enjoy racing. I don’t get pressure from the outside world the only pressure I get is what I put on myself. But that’s not really pressure it’s probably doubt. It spurs me on and I do doubt myself quite a lot.

“I doubted whether I would even make the team for worlds this year and was absolutely considering that as a possibility.
“That distracts my mind and there are some people who say they are the best but I am the complete opposite.
“It’s only when I come into a meet when I’m standing behind those blocks that I think I can actually win this.

“So doubt is one of the most important things that I can give myself through the training because it absolutely grounds me and gets me ready for the next race.”

For such a young athlete Peaty has an old head on his shoulders and admits that from early age he realised how lucky he was and wanted to repay those people that had invested so much in his talent.

“I think hard work is the key, my mum and dad have always worked hard and that has transferred into me,” he added.

“I never give 80 per cent into anything, I always give 100 per cent because at the end of the day as a kid I realised it was my parents’ money.

“It was my coach’s hours, my mum’s hours and I learned to appreciate that.

“Some kids take it for granted and ask why are they here but you get a bit angry at that because their parents are putting out for them at a huge cost in social time and money because it is not a cheap sport..

“So I soon realised that and ever since then I have been giving 100 per cent.”

© Sportsbeat 2015