Diver and TikTok sensation Sam Fricker talks to Andrew Webster

Sam Fricker’s coaches have rallied around his use of social media.Credit: Getty

Most of the time, coaches want to eliminate as many distractions as possible. A torrent of abusive comments can derail the strongest athlete.

As of this writing, Fricker has posted 12 TikTok videos just Monday. When we spoke outside a church in Edgbaston, the Australian team’s media liaison, Matt Barnard, took a view from different angles. Fricker then posted the images to his Instagram account.

“My coaches are getting into it,” Fricker says. “I’m going to do what I do, so they came to support and understand that. And it’s really good for sports. Diving doesn’t get much attention like other sports, so it’s a great opportunity to share what we do. And it helps me dive.

It helps because he can film workouts wherever he goes in the world, setting up his phone on a tripod. It may also help his trainer identify a serious injury, which Fricker knows has broken his ankle twice since the Tokyo Olympics last year.

Late last year he was on a beach with friends in Cronulla, south Sydney, just weeks after being released from quarantine after returning from Japan.

He did a back somersault and landed awkwardly. Of course, he was shooting a short video for TikTok at the time.

He sent the video to his trainer, Joel Rodriguezwho represented Mexico at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

“He’s broken,” Rodriguez told him over the phone.

“What do you mean?”

“Listen to him. You can hear the pause.

“In a competition, 90% of everything is mental. We’ve all gone through the training. It’s just about who can do them when they need to. [to] Do them.’

Sam Fricker

Fricker then broke his ankle a second time while descending stairs, but he recovered and is now chasing gold in three events.

Dismissing the trolls is easier than calming down while standing on the 10m platform.

“In a competition, 90% of everything is mental,” he says. “We all went through the training. We have all done similar dives. It’s just about who can get them when they need them [to] Do them. What you do is keep things super simple. You don’t stress too much, you try to be in the moment, one dive at a time.

“When I’m up there, about to do my inside three and a half, my favorite dive, you breathe slowly with two key words per dive. Sometimes you have all these negative thoughts going through your head, you just have to do your best to fight them and stick to the positives.

One last question: is there anything in his life that he doesn’t document?

“Not really,” he said. “I make a lot of money! »

And you live it well, Sammy. To go well.

Buckets of fun

Here’s a sentence I didn’t expect to write: I’m a 3 x 3 basketball maniac, especially sitting here in the sun in the press box at Smithfield.

Listen, the quality of basketball is not necessarily excellent. You don’t expect to see airballs when unmarked from outside the arc.

Australian Amber Merritt looks for a way past Amy Conroy in the 3x3 wheelchair basketball win over England.

Australian Amber Merritt looks for a way past Amy Conroy in the 3×3 wheelchair basketball win over England.Credit:Getty

But the exciting format of 10-minute matches with a 12-second timer makes it a mainstream sport.

Australia’s women’s wheelchair team were on the verge of tears after beating England to advance to the gold medal game.

“Women’s wheelchair basketball has had a few downsides over the past few years, so to have such a successful year and be able to show off all the hard work we’ve put in on the international stage is incredible,” said Amber Merritt.

The on-site commentators were also there.

“It’s going to be a fascinating, fascinating contest,” said one, to which the other replied, “It’s going to be a fascinating contest.”

Amazing analysis.

THE QUOTE

“You know these women will have had to fight for respect from the first moment they pick up the ball – Lets f**king go girls!” — Country Legend Shania Twain pays tribute to England after winning the Women’s Euro 2022 final. Man, I feel like a handball player.

THUMBS UP

With Michael Buble Feel good as background music, Australian gymnast Georgia Godwin nailed her floor routine to win women’s all-around gold, breaking England’s dominance in the event. And that makes us all feel good.

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THUMBS DOWN

australian weightlifter Kyle Bruce was inconsolable after the judges snatched the gold medal from his hands and exchanged it for silver in the men’s 81 kg category. He appears to have won, he lifted 183kg in the clean and jerk, but judges ruled his elbows briefly unlocked during the lift. “I don’t know how they could turn that around,” he said.

Get all the latest Birmingham Commonwealth Games news here. We’ll be blogging live on the action from 4-10 a.m. daily.

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