Catch up with Will Feneley, GB Snowsport Moguls Athlete with one year to go until the Olympic Winter Games, Beijing 2022.
How are you feeling with one year to go until Beijing 2022?
It seems a long way away, but the year will go quick. Qualifications for the Games has already started, so the focus is on putting down performances this season, and then getting ready and prepped for the next season. I’m trying to stay confident and working hard to get the best out of the year.
How do you keep motivated in the short term?
I have short term goals that I’m striving for, which are separate to the Winter Olympics. The focus is to accomplish these goals. We’re lucky to be able to be skiing and competing at the moment, so I’m making the most of every moment, and having fun skiing as well. It can be difficult to be motivated all the time, and especially this year with new obstacles to overcome, But I think it’s important to recognise when I’m feeling less motivated, and use it as a challenge to motivate myself in some way.
What is the toughest part of your training schedule?
At the moment, it’s definitely all the extra measures that are making travel more stressful. We’re not always sure if we’re able to go somewhere or what we’ll be able to do. It can be uncomfortable but it’s something we have to do at the moment, to ensure covid rules are being followed and that we stay as safe as possible. Outside of the current situation, the hardest part is constantly coming and going. I don’t really have a permanent base, and home (in the U.K.) has no mountains and not really any snow, so I use it as time away from skiing, but not somewhere that I can spend much time each year.
What is your favourite part of training?
The best feeling is when you accomplish something you were struggling with, whether that be a new trick, or a finals or a podium. It’s definitely a big rush when you succeed at something you’ve been working towards for a long time. I also just love the fact that I’m able to travel all over the world to ski, see so many places, and be around really talented athletes. With training, I love being out in the mountains, after a fresh dump, on a sunny day, in some powder bumps, dicing and slicing.
Do you listen to music when you train?
I tried listening to music for the first time, during a competition about five years ago. I crashed on the first jump, and from then on have decided that music while skiing is not for me. I know a lot of people that do use music and it seems to work for them.
How are you preparing mentally for competition day?
My mind can easily run into all sorts of scenarios for how a competition might pan out. What could be, what might go wrong, will I do my best? It’s important for me to try and clear me mind, relax, and remind myself that it’s just skiing, and by worrying and stressing, I’m just making it less enjoyable for myself. If I concentrate on the fact that I’m getting ski, then at the end of the day, it’s just another day skiing, and what will be will be. I’m more likely to ski my best, if my mind isn’t stressing about possibility A through Z.
Are there any big milestones that you are working towards between now and the Olympic Winter Games?
We haven’t had too many competitions this year. One of my main goals this year was to make finals in a World Cup. I managed this at the last event, so now the next milestone is to consolidate that, carry on putting down good performances, and carry the progression on into the next season. I’m hoping that I can put down a great performance at the World Championships which will now be held in Kazakhstan at the beginning of March.
What do you do to unwind at the end of a long training day?
After a really long training day, it’s a great feeling getting off all of your gear, and getting into a nice warm shower. I’m a big fan of long showers. I also like to chill out with my teammates, just chatting or playing some kind of games. I’m also studying for a degree in mathematics, so if I’ve had a bad day training, then focussing on something else like my maths, takes my mind off whatever I had done during the day. Overall, to relax, I just like to chill out as much as possible, not put too much energy into anything, other than a great dinner to finish off the day!