Coach Jane Figueiredo banned Tom Daley and Matty Lee from gold medal talk
Coach Jane Figueiredo admitted she banned new Olympic champions Tom Daley and Matty Lee from talking about winning gold.
The pair claimed a flawless victory in the synchronised 10 metres platform ahead of China and the ROC on Monday.
They won by just 1.23 points as Daley collected his third Olympic medal after winning bronze at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
The duo said they visualised winning in their minds but Figueiredo was insistent they could not speak about it.
“We learned a hell of a lesson in Rio. Too much going on. Too much phone, too much media, just too much talk about winning a gold medal,” she said.
“This time I said to him (Daley) I don’t want to hear those words. When I coached the Russian girls we never talked about winning a gold medal, we just did it. I’m not saying it works every time but it sure as hell worked today.
“I knew they had it in them. Obviously with Tom our journey has always been about winning a gold medal. For him to actually accomplish that says more about him than it does about any of us.
“Then of course Matty Lee, his partner, who we only put together going on three years now. With Matty it’s been a lot of work on him personally.
“I knew that if we could get him in the right spaces as a man, in his personal struggles and challenges, that the results would take care of themselves.
“What’s that saying about your greatest failure can be your greatest successes? I didn’t believe that until today. I thought that was just a cliche, who actually believes that? But people write about it and people who have gone on these journeys talk about it. I am a believer.”
Figueiredo also feels Daley becoming a father to son Robbie with husband Dustin Lance Black helped his mindset.
What’s that saying about your greatest failure can be your greatest successes? I didn’t believe that until today. I thought that was just a cliche, who actually believes that? But people write about it and people who have gone on these journeys talk about it. I am a believer
“Having a son, I think just changed his perspective. Even if he wasn’t who he is, Tom Daley, he’s still going to go home and his son’s going to absolutely love him,” she said.
“He echoes that every day in the media, this isn’t the be all and end all.
“Having that experience with the Russian girls, one who had a girl, it was amazing. Once she let that go, she won the gold medal. So you have to be able to get old enough and mature enough to let that go, whatever it is.
“Thinking ‘I want to ride in that chariot and be the gold medallist’ wasn’t going to happen until he actually let that go.”