Laura Taylor burst onto the scene with a silver medal at her hometown Commonwealth Games, transforming overnight from surf swimmer to international sportswoman.
The Bond University student now admits she initially struggled with her newfound profile on the pool deck.
“This year didn’t fall into place in the world trials race,” Taylor told the Gold Coat Bulletin.
“I was swimming my best times in the pool at training, but on the day I think I got a bit freaked out psychologically because people knew who I was and I didn’t really like that.
“It is something I’m working on, just being relaxed going into a race, it is when I race the best. When I’m having a joke with the people in the marshalling area and not taking stuff too seriously.
“It is easy to tighten and in butterfly if you tighten in the first lap, you are gone for the race, I took a lot of learning experiences from it.”
Taylor, 20, has learned a lot of lessons in 2019.
While saddened to miss the Australian team for the world championships, she has been strongly supported by her network of family and sponsors.
They have been there ever since she took up the sport at an 11-year-old and been the reason she has found success in the pool.
The butterfly swimmer is refocused and is now training hard for a shot at Olympic glory.
“I felt really bad not making the worlds team,” she said.
“I felt like I had disappointed so many people, my family, my sponsors, but they were really supportive through the whole thing.
“They understood you are not always going to have your best day in the pool. There were a lot of swimmers who didn’t have their best day.
“They always have my back, that’s the one thing that has helped my swimming the most, the support network, even when I swim badly, they are always there for me.
“Bond student (Olympic Champion) Mel Wright told me, ‘this is the best year to miss it. You have learned so much from not making the team, you don’t want to miss next year, so it is all-in now’.
“This year is the big year.”
Taylor will continue to work hard in the lead up to the trials for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July next year.