DANIELLE BROWN: MY THREE PIECES OF ADVICE FOR UP-AND-COMING ATHLETES

Danielle Brown made history by becoming the first Paralympian to represent England in an able-bodied event at the Commonwealth Games - and now the archery icon is reflecting on her own experiences to disseminate her wisdom to the next generation of talent. After her pinpoint precision fired her to Paralympic glory at Beijing 2008, Danielle followed it up with another gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games for Team England in Delhi.
10 May, 2022

Danielle Brown made history by becoming the first Paralympian to represent England in an able-bodied event at the Commonwealth Games - and now the archery icon is reflecting on her own experiences to disseminate her wisdom to the next generation of talent.

After her pinpoint precision fired her to Paralympic glory at Beijing 2008, Danielle followed it up with another gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games for Team England in Delhi. And then came another triumph at the storied home Olympics of London 2012, defending her Paralympic title in the individual compound event.

Now a motivational speaker, children’s author and champion of inclusion, Danielle has shared three invaluable pieces of advice to help ambitious young SportsAid athletes follow in her footsteps.

SOAK UP THE EXPERIENCE

"I think that we learn so much through experience, and I believe that even if things don't go to plan, you can still learn far more from that experience than you would if it all falls into place and goes really well.

"So I would just say, soak it all up, take it as a huge learning opportunity regardless of whether you completely smash it or if you bomb out in the first round.

"It totally does not matter, as long as you can learn from it.

"And that is not just with your performance. That is also observing other people and seeing what they do."

CELEBRATE THE SMALL WINS

"In order to win, athletes need to believe in their abilities and trust themselves.

"That was not something I was very good at, so I spent a long time working on my confidence and working on my self-belief.

"I changed how I saw success, and I started to focus on small wins, and that really, really helped. 

"If I'd made progress, even if it was not a massive achievement, I saw it as a success.

"But on the day, fake it till you make it; that really, really helped me.

"At London, I was under so much pressure, and just sort of putting that game face on and going out there allowed me to make those shots when I needed to."

HAVE A GOOD TEAM AROUND YOU

"Your support team is absolutely critical. I always say that nobody achieves on their own, and I was in an individual sport.

"But I had this big team behind me; family, friends, coaches and other support staff that were there helping me.

"What you have got to learn is really being able to communicate with that team.

"That is being able to communicate your goals but also your challenges as well.

"I think as an athlete, sometimes it can be really difficult to ask for help when you need it and actually just getting over that will make you progress so much faster."

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The programme, supported by Sport England, will reinforce the importance of the Commonwealth Games, particularly one hosted on home soil, as a developmental opportunity within the talent and performance pathway!