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Podcast: The enigma of Charlie Walsh, Australia’s most feared and successful cycling coach

The name 'Charlie Walsh' sends a shiver down the spine of Australia’s top cyclists of the last few decades.

David Barry Vivian ‘Charlie’ Walsh OAM talks about his career as the toughest and one of the most successful coaches in the history of Australian elite sport (listen below).

He was the national Track Cycling Coach for Cycling Australia for 20 years. During that time he coached cyclists to 10 world records, 12 Olympic Games records and 22 Commonwealth Games records. His cyclists have won 78 Gold, 50 silver and 51 bronze medals, breaking 44 world records along the way.

Charlie Walsh talks to Off-Field podcast

Among the famous names in cycling who worked under Charlie are Brett Aitken, Darryn Hill, Shane Kelly, Brad McGee, Gary Neiwand, Stuart O’Grady, Luke Roberts, Mike Rodgers, Mike Turtur, Dean Woods.

Charlie was National Coach of the Year for all sports in 1982, 1984, 1993 and 1994 among many other awards.

He achieved all of this as one of sport’s most polarising coaches. Charlie wanted success, not popularity.

He was one of the early adopters of high performance psychology, teaching his athletes to push themselves beyond all physical and mental limits. He did this through famously brutal training regimes, where the only metric was SURVIVAL.

By his own admission, many extremely talented athletes didn’t make it. A lot of people didn’t like it. But the results spoke for themselves.

Charlie shares many amazing stories from his time in cycling including those ferocious training programs, key principles for training the mind and body, reflections on the doping era of cycling, as well as his time working with AFL footballers at the Adelaide Crows.


To book Charlie as a guest speaker or for other services, enquire at PickStar.

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PickStar produces Off-Field, the podcast that focuses on the world of sport outside of the arena with the people who make it happen. It's more than just a podcast. We host regular meet-up events and live interviews for people interested in the world of sport outside of the arena.

Hosted by James Begley and Andrew Montesi.

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