When my boys were younger I used to tell them to “shake like a jelly!” before their matches, so they’d feel loose and relaxed. However much I shake my arms and legs before stepping on to the Strictly dance floor, I just can’t seem to shake off my nerves.
The moment I hear the dreaded words “Judy Murray and Anton du Beke dancing…” I freeze. That one moment of doubt, fear and hesitation is disastrous. It’s not like tennis, where you can lose the first set but go on to win the match.
I know that Andy felt a similar thing stepping onto Centre Court for the Wimbledon final – it’s a huge stage, everybody’s watching you, it is something that really matters to you – but the difference for him was that he was going out to do his thing, the thing he does day in day out. On Strictly I am going out to do something that is completely foreign to me and so far I haven’t managed to do it very well. I would be gutted to go before giving one performance I am happy with. I have to find a way of overcoming these nerves… I’m thinking the only solution is intravenous wine!