image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionAdam Peaty became the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title when he won gold on Monday

Team GB's swimming heroics at Tokyo 2020 might have inspired you to get off the sofa, grab your goggles and do a few lengths of your local pool.

But what separates an Olympic champion from us mere mortals?

According to the performance psychologist for gold medallist Adam Peaty, the answer is mental strength.

Bill Beswick's worked with the 26-year-old breaststroke machine since he was 17 and says Adam's winning mindset is the best he's seen.

Bill tells Radio 1 Newsbeat there are two major factors to becoming a champion: being physically capable and having the attitude "to compete, train and win everyday".

"You can get away with less talent and a great attitude but you can't get away with a bad attitude."

image copyrightReutersimage captionHe currently holds the 100m breaststroke record

Adam, from Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, is one of the fastest swimmers in history, and won his first Olympic title at Rio 2016.

No-one has even come close to his world record time of 56.88 seconds.

Adam follows a mental ritual to get in the zone ahead of his 6am and 6pm training sessions each day, Bill says.

He makes a point of pausing before he enters the pool and focusing on "training like a champion", the psychologist adds.

"He sets his standard at that moment. That is how an athlete builds mental strength," Bill adds.

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Adam won Team GB's first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 in the 100m breaststroke on Monday to become the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title.

Even more medals could be on the way as he will also be part of the 4x100m mixed medley heats on Thursday and the men's 4x100m medley heats the following day.

His gold medal is a particularly huge achievement considering the disruption Covid had on training – at times during lockdown Adam wasn't even able to train in a pool.

"It would have been much harder if Adam hadn't have been trained that when setbacks happen, we deal with them," Bill says.

"Not only has he dealt with the delay of the Olympics and changes to his training schedule, he's also dealt with the Olympics taking place in a very unique and strange environment."

He's referring to what's going on for all athletes in Tokyo – no crowds, no face-to-face support from his family, regular Covid testing and periods of isolation.

media captionTokyo Olympics: Adam Peaty challenges Reece Parkinson to race

Bill refuses to take full credit for the star's winning mentality and says Adam's swimming coach, Mel Marshall, is "perfect for him".

A former Olympic swimmer herself, Mel has been coaching Adam since he was 14.

They met at the City of Derby Swimming Club, where he began training after being recommended by a family friend.

"He's come into swimming at the perfect time," Bill says, adding that British Swimming's Chris Spice has created "a superb team environment".

Chris joined British Swimming back in 2013 as the national performance director to help improve the success of British swimming at major tournaments.

"London 2012 was a disappointing Olympics for swimming – he brought me into the remit to change the environment from a victim mentality to a fighter mentality," Bill says.

"The organisation wasn't in great shape, but we've created a perfect coaching environment and one of the great consequences is that we've produced Adam Peaty."

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