Interview | Brittany O'Brien

Brittany O'Brien has enjoyed an amazing couple of years as a young 10m diver; after being selected for the Rio 2016 Olympics at the age of only 18, she has now earned a call up to the Aussie team again for the Commonwealth Games, where she is considered one of the most exciting young divers in the world.

We grabbed a few minutes with Brittany to quiz her a little on her nutrition & diet...

Ahead of a competition, what sorts of food/snacks are you having? What sorts of things could you have in Rio? "Leading up to competitions I just make sure I avoid sugar as much as I can, and I eat heaps of protein. On the actual day of competition I'll eat a small breakfast (eggs/toast) and I'm usually too nervous to eat right before my event so I might just have a banana if anything".

Are you able to snack much in-between dives? "I usually don't snack in between dives, instead I'll just sip on a Powerade or something to keep my energy up".

What, aside from, maybe, eating or drinking, is going on in-between a dive? Are you watching replays of your own dive, or watching the other competitors? "It really depends on the person, I know a lot of people don't like watching the other competitors as it can put pressure on their own performance however I sometimes like watching because I enjoy seeing what I'm up against, and I'm not one to feel pressured easily. If it's a long event I'll usually just stretch in a quiet corner and stay active, or sometimes I'll listen to music. I also do imitations of each dive on pool deck before I get up on the board, and imagine the perfect dive in my head". 

What do you eat after competing? Can you treat yourself? "I'm usually super hungry after competition, I love hot chips afterwards as a treat or a milkshake/iced chocolate if I'm feeling naughty!"

What are your thoughts on protein bars & shakes? "I think they're very helpful in and out of competition however I don't have as much of them as I would like to". 

Do you eat much at the gym/after the gym? "I don't eat at the gym but afterwards I always make sure I eat a good amount of protein. I'm big on coffee so I'll always have one before and after gym in the morning".

What does a diving gym session look like? "All muscles are important in diving so you target every part of the body. There is a lot of jumping and control/core work involved, as well as diving specific exercises such as trampoline and land somersaults".

What is your cheat meal? "I love going out and eating burgers with friends!"

What meal(s) do rely on the most at home? "For breakfast I love having eggs, and pasta or a salad at lunch. For dinner I usually have some sort of meat (chicken/steak) and a ton of vegetables". 

Is there anything you actively avoid? "Nothing in particular, but I try not to eat sugar because the more you have it the more you crave it". 

How important is hydration at your level? "Hydration is important for anyone. In competition I'm never without a water bottle or a Powerade, constantly sipping". 

What was it like being so young at the Rio Olympics; did you feel a lot of pressure on your shoulders? "Honestly I didn't feel much pressure at all, I think I didn't have enough time to put pressure on myself with the late call up and all. I just competed as thought it were any other competition!"

Do you have any pre-competition rituals? "Nope, I just treat competition as I do any other training day so that my routine stays the same, I don't like changing anything before competition. I just make sure I'm well rested and focused". 

Follow Brittany on Instagram, for more information & insight into her journey at the top of elite diving, here.