Talbot Cover


Nothing but the best

Don Talbot with Ian Heads and Kevin Berry

Lothian Books

… the philosophy, the goals, the determination, the toughness, the obstinacy, were all there in the younger man, remembered well from the 10 years of our association…

Ilsa Konrads

With a career spanning more than 50 years, Don Talbot has seen it all, from the Melbourne Olympics of 1956 to Sydney 2000—‘the best Olympics ever’. As head coach Don has been universally credited with turning Australian swimming around. It was his vision that steered the Australian swim team to world supremacy at the Fukuoka World Champions 2001, thus realising his lifelong dream.

Told for the first time in Talbot: Nothing but the best, Don’s story is traced from the early ’50s—when, as a young swim coach, two talented kids, Ilsa and John Konrads, chanced to his door—through to the pinnacle of his success at the World Championships in 2001. Don provides insights into what it has been like to be at the forefront of Australian swimming. He reveals the many challenges in the pool and behind the scenes, as well as the triumphs and heartaches of his colourful career as Australia’s most successful and, at times, most controversial swim coach.

Pulling no punches, Don shares with us his views on what makes a champion swimmer and who the leading swimmers and swim coaches of our time are. The Talbot story is the tale of a tough, uncompromising coach, respected for his strong beliefs and determination, both praised and criticised for his forthright opinions. Told in Don’s typically candid manner, this book is bound to ruffle a few feathers.