From our Features editor - Make handling media an Olympic sport

Here's an ominous fact for the London 2012 Olympics: the next generation of British sports stars are as prone to cracking under media pressure as their predecessors.

Two weeks ago, British diver Tom Daley was larking about for the cameras with diving team mate Tonia Couch looking as cool as a cucumber. By Tuesday morning his glum little face was plastered across the sporting pages after finishing last in the 10m synchronised diving event; another young British sporting hope crushed under the weight of expectation.

Yes, I know Daley is inexperienced, and yes, I know he is only 14 and however many days, but I genuinely thought he might stand a chance of blocking out the background chatter of influential people telling him, us, and anyone else prepared to listen that he would by now be standing on the podium.

This boy has grown up in the world of 24/7 news, of broadband in every home, of thinking out loud on Bebo. I know nothing of Daley's media diet. But I would bet a return flight to China that the idea of waiting for tomorrow's papers to find out what is going on in the world is as foreign to him as Cantonese.

So, did this immersion in a content-driven world desensitise him to pressure from the media? Did it hell. His diving partner Blake Aldridge (who, one suspects, will not perform that role again) described him as 'worrying about everyone and everything' during the competition. Tellingly, team performance director Steve Foley also conceded the glare of publicity had taken its toll.

If anything, the knowledge that his success or failure would be broadcast instantly to the world made things worse for Daley.

Now has to do it all over again in the individual event this weekend, and his confidence will be non-existent.

The British Olympic Association has £600m to prepare Team GB for 2012. Given that press attention on a 'home' games will ramp up the intensity to pressure cooker levels, I hope some of that cash will go towards training our athletes' minds as well as their bodies.

- Danny Rogers is away.

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