Who are you?

My name is Sian Harkin, I am 20 years old, and I am currently a full time third year student at the University of Stirling, studying a BSc Honours degree in Psychology.

How did you get into sport?

I joined a competitive swimming programme at 8 years old, and after failing my grade 5 swimming lessons I was even more determined to succeed within the sport. My goals within competitive swimming were to always reach a final at the Commonwealth Games, so I trained towards Delhi 2010, however missed the qualifying time in the 50m butterfly by 0.08 of a second. At this point I was close to leaving the sport, however after moving swimming programmes to the University of Stirling, the realisation of qualifying for Glasgow 2014 became very possible after winning the British Gas Youth Nationals 50m butterfly in a PB and coming second in the 50m freestyle

What have you achieved?

I won a silver medal at the British Championships for the 50m freestyle in 2014, securing my place onto the Commonwealth games in not only 1, but 4 events (50m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 4x100freestyle relay and the 4x100m individual medley relay). At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow I swam in the 50m freestyle final representing Scotland, the 50m butterfly semi-final, the 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m individual medley relay finals.

How does psychology influence your performance?

I have a passion for sports psychology, and believe that success is the result of a specific mental approach towards the sport. It was only after changing the way I looked at the sport that I managed to unlock my true potential. Often people will overlook the psychological aspects in sport and focus on the physical, however, a positive mental attitude towards training can really enhance performance and I believe the importance of this should be made aware to all athletes and coaches – within any sport.