“There is a difference between being tired, and exhausted.” A sentence which rings through when describing Ric Charlesworth, and his approach to sporting pursuits and life itself.
Charlesworth is a sporting icon, both for his playing efforts and later his coaching successes.
During his sport, he studied Medicine and worked in Politics, but he will forever be known as The Coach. He specialises in knowing what triggers people (himself included) to be the best, and be their best.
After retiring from coaching the Kookaburras in 2014, Charlesworth continues to spend his time working, part-time motivational speaker and full-time Dad.
Sport – as a player: Charlesworth was an avid cricketer. He played for 8 years in the WA state team. But his first love was hockey, in the National team playing 18 years for WA, and National teams for 17 years. Throughout this period, he was selected for 5 and went to 4 Olympics with the Australian team.
It was here in his own sporting life that he learnt the difference between being tired, and exhausted. He learnt that if he could take anything from his own playing days, it would be that to be a good coach you must distinguish the difference between the two, and push people beyond what they thought was possible.
"In my 14 years of coaching National teams, both men and women, I have never met a player who knew how good they could be."
Sport – as a coach: Charlesworth prided himself on preparation and being willing to try new ideas. Sometimes it is necessary to select based on attitude, rather than skill. A strong attitude ensures the individual has both the desire and ability to be pushed.
Hockeyroos coach for 8 years (1993-2000); 2 Olympic Gold medals & 2 World Cup Golds. They sat ranked #1 in the world for the entire period with Charlesworth as coach.
Kookaburras coach for 6 years (2009-2014); Olympic Bronze, 2 World Cup Golds & Commonwealth Games titles.
He treated his coaching as an opportunity to elevate the sports ambitions of both himself, and others, placing emphasis on bettering the people he had and finding new and exciting talent. Adding value to the athletes and building depth in his squad. It was his background in medicine and politics that provided him with an unusual blend of expertise for his life as a coach.
Medicine & Politics:
Charlesworth believes it’s less about sticking to one thing, and more about retraining yourself in new fields using your core competencies. His journey was a somewhat challenging one, studying medicine while playing international sport. Then entering parliament and moving on to coaching.
He made the conscious decision and lifestyle choice to step down from parliament as he was finding the rigours of travel and lack of family time too extreme.
Today, Charlesworth has the likes of the AIS, AFL & Cricket Australia as some of his client list. He compliments these sporting organisations, with a list of corporate clients. They all share the underlying message that is creating a winning culture, both in their players and their managerial teams and leaders.
He is the author of 4, soon to be 5 books and bases himself in Perth, Western Australia with his family.
Ric graduated from UWA in Medicine in 1975 and worked in the hospital environment and general practice for 7 years. His entry into politics in 1982 led to his election as a member for Perth in Federal parliament. As part of the Hawke-Keating government, and remained there for 10 years. In 1992 he made a lifestyle decision to leave parliament, planning to work in medicine.