In rhythmic gymnastics, there is no stopping period.

It is all about routine and repetition. That is where the hard work pays off.

As I head into the Commonwealth Games, I’m really happy with where my gymnastics is right now.

When I’m able to enjoy this level of consistency in the sport, is when I am at my most confident.

Since selection trials at the end of February, everything has well and truly ramped up ten-fold!

I am someone who thrives off the numbers.

And I arrive on the Gold Coast knowing I haven’t skipped a single session.

I have practised this routine, five times… every single day… for the last two years coming into this event.

I know every single possibility… I’ve encountered every little deviation from my routine, so I know I have a really good handle on what I will be performing at the games.

That confidence is important, because as you become more mature in this sport, your body starts to battle against all kinds of aches and pains.

Unfortunately I’ve had to work my way through a couple of ankle issues over the past year, which I put down to nothing else but old age!

Which, in all seriousness, is kind of normal for any rhythmic gymnast my age. And certainly normal for any athlete about to put their body under enormous duress, leading into a major event like the Commonwealth Games.

Danielle Prince

Everyday I find myself spending more and more time on the massage table, doing more recovery than preparation.

In rhythmic gymnastics, when you are younger your training is often guided by your coach, telling you exactly how many repetitions is required as part of your program.

You don’t really get a chance to have your say.

But as I have gotten older, I’ve taken more reign over my program and that is where I feel as though I have really come into my own.

As an athlete, I’ve taken on more ownership in my approach to preparation and how best to manage my training load.

And no longer does that include just looking at the work that is done inside the gymnasium.

I’m also looking at areas on how I can improve my overall frame.

When I was younger, the only thing I ever knew about recovery was where the physio lived.

I never knew about strength and conditioning, pilates or the mental side of sport.

Now that I am a more mature athlete, I’ve really set about using as many different tools which might help me gain a competitive edge over my field.

This new lease on training, I believe, has really helped me add more years onto my career.

The fact that I am still competing at a high level, even nearing my mid-late 20s, is a testament to how well I am now preparing for competition.

Here’s hoping everything I can put everything into practice at the games.