Two months ago, Tom Dowan was picking himself up from a quarter final elimination at the National Boccia Championships.
The 17-year old was understandably disappointed with that result, as having breezed through his pool, he suffered a heavy defeat against eventual winner Cecilia Turk.
Since then, he has taken an enforced break from competing due to ill health.
But after working with sport psychologist Louis Ellis, Dowan is ready for battle once again as he works towards this month’s Cheshire International.
“I was utterly devastated to be knocked out of the National Championships in May,” he said.
“Taking a 9-1 tonking after a complete brain meltdown hurt.
“The biggest positive from a negative was that it gave me the kick up the backside to seek some help for my mind.
“In the past, that’s been rather destructive at the nationals.
“I’ve since started working with Louise Ellis and have seen some real improvement, which is great.
“So my preparations have been going well.
“I’m just touching things up here and there – I’m pretty much ready to go.”
Dowan will be competing in the BC3 mixed pair event at the tournament.
There, he’ll be accompanied by longtime teammate Ryan Paladino and the experienced Liam Beresford.
That, according to Dowan, is a strong team.
And ahead of the Championships, he is confident of success.
“I’m looking forward to teaming up with Ryan again,” he continued.
“We’re a strong pair.
“The introduction of Liam Beresford is a big boost.
“He’s medalled at the Cheshire in the past and is somewhat of a veteran, so some genuine international experience will really add to what we are trying to create.
“I’m always hungry for medals and success, but this being an international tournament adds a little extra bite.
“The home nation teams have a history of doing well at Cheshire, too, so I’m hoping that’s a nice omen!”
The three day Cheshire International tournament kicks off at the Robin Park Arena in Wigan on July 26th, alongside the GB National Championships (July 27-28).
The event is open to spectators, with many big international names from the sport set to compete.
For more information, visit https://bocciaengland.org.uk/events/