Don Talbot

Former Head Coach, Australian Swimming

Renowned internationally as the greatest swimming coach in the world, Don Talbot led Australian swimming to new heights.

Steering Australia to major successes at Olympic, World Championships and Commonwealth Games, Don Talbot’s proudest moment came when Australia was crowned number one at the 2001 World Championships in Japan. Never before had Australia come out on top since the beginning of the championship in 1973, and not since the 1956 Melbourne Olympics had they beat the Americans in the pool.

Don Talbot first started coaching in 1956, coaching brother and sister John and Ilsa Konrads. Two extraordinary swimmers, John broke and held every world record from 100m through to the 1500m and helped launch Don’s career.

In 1964 Don Talbot became Australia’s Head Coach, a position he retained until 1972, when unhappy with Australian swimming and its lack of funding, he moved to Canada.

Appointed Head Coach of the Canadian Swim Team in 1974, Don Talbot remained in Canada until 1988, during which time he was appointed Executive Director of Canadian Swimming and was twice named Canadian Coach of the Year.

As a result of Don’s departure, by the late '80s Australia’s golden swimming era had turned into a backwater. Enticed to return in 1989, Don was appointed Head Coach and set about rebuilding Australian swimming. Introducing cameras and computers to analyse every stroke, touch and turn, Don took swimming high-tech in an endeavour to discover the fractions of seconds necessary to win.

At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Australia and the world witnessed the results of over a decade of Don’s coaching and belief in Australian athletes. Producing its best performance since the 1972 Munich Olympics, Australia finished second to the US with five gold, nine silver and four bronze.

A compelling speaker, Don Talbot’s philosophy of 'doing the best you can, going to the bottom of the barrel and finding everything you’ve got' is the basis of his presentations. Tailored to client’s needs, Don Talbot addresses specific issues and problems in order to help companies and individuals achieve the results they want.

Speaking on leadership, personal best, competition, motivation and goal setting, Don’s down-to-earth style and no-nonsense approach, motivates and inspires audiences.