PERSONAL COACH DISCUSSION SESSION WITH PETER LAWLER SATURDAY 16 January, 4-5pm Domain Athletics Centre
Following interclub on Saturday there will be a personal coach session for coaches of ALL events from 4-5pm in the Gym. This will be an informal discussion on ‘current thinking’ including Pete’s thoughts on: plyos, high intensity training, the 10 000 hour theory, training ideas, and plenty more! It would be great to see as many personal coaches as possible along to support this and learn from one of Australia’s legend coaches. Open to all interested coaches.
About Peter Lawler OAM
Peter Lawler is one of the finest coaches Australia has produced and earlier this year his enormous contribution to track and field was recognised with a very well deserved OAM. While Peter is known as an outstanding coach, he also has worked for the sport in many other areas, including as a coach educator and club administrator – all while based in regional areas of NSW. Known among his athletes as ‘Pete’, his positive influence is difficult to summarise in just one article, but let’s try.
Born in 1943, Peter started competing in athletics while in college while studying to become a teacher. In 1962 he was first appointed to primary school teaching in the Riverina. By 1967, he was an English-history teacher at Griffith High. Anyone who has had a chance to sit and chat to Pete would know what an inspiring story teller he is, making him an ideal history teacher. In 1975 he was appointed head of history at Oxley College, Tamworth, a position he would hold for 22 years.
His breakthrough in athletics occurred at the 1965 NSW Open Championships when he placed second in the javelin with a throw of 61.35m. A year later, he would continue his rise with bronze at the national championships with a throw of 65.10m. During his elite career he would claim six national medals, including the title in 1971, with his lifetime best of 75.41m. In 1977 he was selected to represent Australia at the Pacific Conference Games in Canberra. At state level, he won seven NSW javelin titles in 1966, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977 and 1980. He continued to compete for more than 20 years, particularly at the NSW Country Championships.
Although he coached throughout his own athletics career, he moved seriously into coaching while in Tamworth in the ‘80s specialising in throws and multi-events. He regularly travelled to countries in the Pacific to coach, including PNG, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia and Kiribati.
In 1988, one of the longest and most successful coach-athlete relationships in track and field was formed, when Peter Lawler meet Nick Moroney. For the next 23 years, Nick would rise to become one of the best high jumpers in Australia in a career, that is still going at age 39. Since 1990, Moroney has never failed to clear 2.10m each year and has competed for Australia at two Commonwealth Games and for Oceania at two World Cups. During his time in Tamworth, Lawler also coached decathlete Stuart Andrews to three Universiade and two Commonwealth Games.
In 1996 Peter moved to Wollongong and for the next few years guided one of the best javelin squads in the world including : Louise McPaul (Atlanta Olympic silver medallist), Andrew Currey (Australian record holder at 86.67m) and Olympian Adrian Hatcher, an 84m thrower.
Lawler resumed his teaching career in 1999 at Sydney’s prestigious Barker College, where during the next six years he taught history and was the director of strength and conditioning. In the last decade his squad has included: Olympic high jumper Petrina Price and a string of talented young throwers: Andrew Giltrap, Karen Clarke, Megan Horne, Emily De Brot, Andrew Baker, Ian Hutchinson, Rosie Hooper and many more.
Peter Lawler has travelled overseas with a number of Australian teams, first in 1985 as head coach of a junior team to China. For 15 years, he was on national teams at Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and World Cups.
His recent OAM award was also recognition of his extensive coach education work which has extended for more than 20 years. He is a leading educator of coaches and a highly sort after speaker and one area of specialty is strength and conditioning. He also co-edits the ATFCA publication Modern Coach and Athlete, one of the world’s leading coaching journals.
His influence has been wide. While teaching in the Riverina he established the Griffith Athletics Club and developed the talent sufficiently to win the boys’ points score (Kippax Trophy) at the NSW Combined High Schools Athletics Championships. After establishing the Griffith Athletics Club he was the driving force for athletics in the area, holding the position of club secretary, coach and was even responsible for developing facilities like throwing circles.
In addition to his OAM, Peter was recognised in 2000 with the Australian Sport Medal and in 2007 he was honoured by the ATFCA with the prestigious Henri Schubert Award.
During his career he has been the technical coach and strength coach for four Olympians and representatives at Commonwealth Games (seven), World Cups (four), World Juniors (four) and World Youth Championships.
The number of young people Peter has taught and athletes he has developed during the past 50 years would be countless, inspiring them to fulfill their potential and become role models.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW