EP 71- Tim Driesen – High Performance Athlete Development Leader at Athletics New Zealand


“You can rely on talent up until a certain time, whatever talent is, but it’s not going to make you the best in the world. Even though in my late teenage years I had a good amount of support behind me, I didn’t understand what I had to be doing and how to utilise that support around me. ”

On the show today, I chat with former elite athlete and High Performance Athlete Development Leader at Athletics New Zealand, Tim Driesen. Tim threw the hammer for Australia at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, placing 7th and 5th respectively. Before that, he represented his country in both the hammer and the discus at a youth and junior world championships. Tim also has a Bachelor of Coaching Science from the University of Canberra.

In this wide ranging conversation, Tim and I discuss growing up in small town Australia and having your dad as coach, success at the junior level and the pressure and expectation the come with it, what great developmental environments looks like and how to create them, advice for parents, and much more.

I hope you enjoy it.

We also  discuss:

  • The drawbacks of a supportive family environment;
  • When Tim choose to specialise in athletics and how he made his decision;
  • Navigating the difficult transition from high school to university;
  • When Tim learned the most in his athletic career and advice to his 18 year old self;
  • Why talent gets in the way of development;
  • How studying coaching science helped Tim be a better athlete;
  • Tim’s biggest failures and what he learnt from them;
  • Passion, and why it’s so important;
  • The difference between potential and performance;
  • How Tim identifies young talent and the importance of a growth mindset;
  • The role strength and conditioning plays in youth athletics;
  • The importance of speed for distance athletes;
  • When injury can be a blessing;
  • The problem with having too much opportunity;
  • How Tim is helping coaches of youth athletes;
  • Why having opportunity outside of sport is so important; and
  • More.

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Thanks so much for listening!