Jen McIntosh: Mental strength will be key to Rio success

Scotland's Jen McIntosh believes her mental strength has improved since London 2012 as she prepares to head to the Rio Olympics.

Jen McIntosh at the Scottish Performance Training Centre for Rifle and Pistol at Meadowbank Sports Centre Picture; Steven Scott Taylor

The 25-year-old from 
Edinburgh will line-up in the 50m 3 positions event in 
Brazil and – after finishing 36th in the 10m air rifle and 42nd in the 50m rifle 3 positions four years ago – feels she is a more confident competitor now.

She said; “I think with the London Olympics, because everyone was saying how big it was and it was a home games, I built it up into this big, massive event in my head.

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“Now I am just trying to focus on the process rather than what event it is.

“I will just be thinking about each shot as I would do in training and taking it one step at a time over there.

“Mental strength is 
definitely the main thing in shooting. When you get to the level of competition that there will be in Rio there will be around 40 of the other 50 competitors who can win the event, so it all comes down to who is mentally toughest on the day.

“I feel good in that respect now and I have been around the world’s best on the 
circuit for a few years now, so I know what I am going to be up against.”

Having had her Team GB place confirmed over seven months ago, McIntosh admits she now just cannot wait to get going.

McIntosh, who won two golds and a bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a silver and bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, added: “By this point I have just about done all of the training and preparation that I can and I am just 
desperate to get out to Brazil and compete.

“Since making sure of my place I have been to Rio for the Test event a few months ago which was helpful to see the surroundings as I have been able to visualise things in training.

“I haven’t been competing in too many other events of late, but have been training a lot and since college finished a few weeks ago the training hours have become even longer.”

McIntosh’s coach at Meadowbank Sports Centre in the capital is her father Donald, who also is Britain’s head coach.

“Our relationship has changed over the years – I am not a stroppy teenager anymore – and we work well together and share ideas,” McIntosh explained.