Q&A with team GB athlete, David Ames

This week we spoke with team GB Olympian, David Ames. With a passion for sports from an early age, it wasn’t until David picked up a hockey stick that everything changed. Take a read of his inspiring story below.

When did your passion for sports and hockey in particular begin?

In terms of sport, as far as my mum recalls, I was swimming before I could walk and kicking a football before I was 2. Sport has been my passion and my life and that hasn’t changed. Swimming and Football were my main 2 sports and it wasn’t until I was 15 that I picked up a hockey stick and started to give it a go! It’s turned out to be a good choice since then!

What have been some of your most memorable career moments to date?

Definitely representing TeamGB at 2 Olympic Games is right up there. I’m proud to have done that and hopefully with a bit of luck I can go to one more in Paris. Becoming a European medalist was a great moment for me as well as being able to play a World Cup in India in a country that is completely hockey mad was something I’ll cherish. 

Can you tell us more about the process of becoming a team GB athlete?

I had a slightly different process being Northern Irish. I was fortunate enough to represent Ireland 64 times before I made a decision to transfer and represent Team GB. This involved a 3 year ‘waiting period’ where I wasn’t allowed to compete internationally for 3 years. Having to wait that long made the chances of being selected even tougher because of the amount of hockey I was missing in that period. Thankfully I was able to prove my worth when I became eligible to play for Team GB and so was able to be selected for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

How important is nutrition when it comes to you feeling and performing at your best?

Massively! I think every athlete knows the importance of nutrition when it comes to training, tournaments, time off etc. It is something we can’t take for granted or slip up with due to the competitiveness in sport and the fine margins for results. Having the correct nutrition / guidance on nutrition has helped me immensely through hard training blocks but more importantly in my current state of coming off knee surgery a few months ago. I am a big believer in giving the body the food that it needs in order to perform and for us athletes, that means giving up a lot of food we could only dream about eating every day for probably 80-90% of the year. 

I’m sure many of our followers would love to know more about what a typical day of eating looks like for an olympian, and how this has impacted your rehab and recovery this year. 

I’m a bit of a sucker for routine and so my eating habits haven’t changed since I was young. I’m a massive cereal fan and weetabix has been a staple in my diet since I was 16/17 years of age. But if I went through a typical training day it would look something similar to this. 

Breakfast: 4x weetabix, 2 pieces of toast, orange juice, greek yog and fruit
Snack: Coffee, banana, protein shake or bar
Lunch: scrambled eggs with bagels, avocado, apple, orange, snack a jacks, 
Snack: coffee, banana, bagel with jam / honey, protein shake or bar
Dinner: Some sort of stir fry, curry, risotto, fajitas, sweet potatoes and lots of veg
Snack: cup of tea, chocolate biscuit, 2 bowls of cereal, glass of milk 

How did the idea for your own coaching business come about?

Hockey has been my life since my career was looking like it would be my full time job. I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great coaches, idols that have inspired me along my journey. Coaching is something I’ve been developing over the last 6/7 years and I’ve always wanted to pursue a coaching career to help develop kids and give them an opportunity to pursue a dream like mine of playing hockey professionally. Whilst it’s still in the early days of my business, I’m hopeful it will help grow the game especially back in Northern Ireland over the years to come. 

And lastly, can you take our followers through a day in the life of an olympian and sports coach?

Typical day might be a 1.5hr gym session in the morning, a team meeting in the early afternoon, and a pitch session lasting 2 hours. Finally to end the day I might have a coaching session lasting 2 hours.

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