Folkard to use winter to get mentally ready for 2012
NAOMI Folkard admits technically she is primed and ready for next spring's London 2012 Olympic selection shoots - and she's vowed to use the winter to make sure she is mentally too.
EYES ON THE PRIZE: Naomi Folkard will work on her mental preparation over the course of the winter
On paper it would appear the 28-year-old is nailed on to earn one of the three British women's places on offer for the London Games - having competed in Athens in 2004 and Beijing four years later.
And indeed she should, having won team silver for England alongside Alison Williamson, a veteran of five Olympics, and Amy Oliver at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this time last year.
However nothing is certain yet with Charlotte Burgess, who finished an agonising fourth with Williamson and Folkard in the team event at the Beijing Games, and youngster Becky Martin also in the hunt.
And, while addressing the competition for next year's Olympics and the amount of it, Folkard believes getting herself in the right frame of mind is all she has to do to make certain of a place.
"Selection starts on at the end of March, beginning of April, over three weekends and technically I am shooting really well and getting better as I did a lot of work last winter on my technique," said Folkard.
"And now that I have got most of my technique right this winter I am working most on my mental game and then next year that should mean my head-to-head matches are much better.
"There is a young junior who has just got her qualifying scores, Becky Martin, and other people who haven't qualified but are on the programme can be invited to go to the selection shoots as well.
"There could be as many as six or seven of us and that is good for the sport. It is always good to have people pushing us to make the team and that makes me get better and better.
"Amy for instance has just come along and she is biting at my heels and I always want to be ahead of her and that is the plan between now and next year."
A further indication that Folkard is in the box seat for London 2012 was her participation alongside Williamson and Oliver in the London Archery Classic - the official Olympic test event - at Lord's.
As a team they finished an agonising fourth, while Folkard reached just the second round of the individual event at the home of cricket, however she is adamant she will be better for the trial run.
"The ranking round is held on the Nursery Ground at Lord's and it is quite difficult with the wind because you can't feel it on the shooting line coming from behind the media centre," she added.
"So the media centre is sheltering us but obviously it is the same for everybody and we were just learning about that. It is going to be a great venue and it is all sold out so that is perfect."
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© Sportsbeat 2011