David Whitaker

David has been a pioneer in exploring the interactions that promote high performance in people throughout a career that has spanned education, Olympic sport and international business.

He is highly experienced in the art and science of coaching and learning, and the practical ways of working with people that open up greater opportunities for sustained high performance.

After graduation he spent 14 years in leadership roles in education. This ran parallel with an outstanding playing career in international hockey, representing England and Great Britain over 100 times.

David’s Story

In 1980, he was appointed the Coach to both England and Great Britain and during the next 8 years he introduced a performer-centred approach to coaching that turned the previously accepted approach on its head and contributed to the unparalleled success of the men’s teams. This included Olympic Bronze (1984), World and European Silvers (1986 & 1987), culminating in Olympic Gold in 1988. The first Olympic team gold for GB for 50 years.

In recognition of his achievements and understanding of coaching, David was awarded the OBE in 1989, chosen as Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1988, and in 1998 invited to be one of the first six recipients of the Mussabini medal, the National Coaching Foundation’s UK Hall of Fame.

In 1989 David founded Performance Consultants along with David Hemery C.B.E. and Sir John Whitmore. They were three of the pioneers that introduced coaching to the business world and David has built a reputation for working at the leading edge of promoting high performance, for understanding the psychology of performance and for being an outstanding coaching practitioner.
David also helped create and tutor on the MSc in Coaching and Development that Performance Consultants LLP established in partnership with Portsmouth University. Between 2001 and 2010. He has written many articles on coaching along with three books, two on coaching in sport and his most recent, The Spirit of Teams, on promoting high performance in teams.

In 2010 he retired after leading Performance Consultants for 20 years. Currently, he is involved in supporting the leadership of Bright Field Consulting, Watermark Wealth Management and the Foundation for Leadership through Sport.

David’s passion is to help people face the difficult dialogue that is the pathway to achieving their highest level of performance possible.

Career Highlights

  • He represented England and Great Britain over 100 times in international hockey
  • Introduced a performer-centred approach to coaching which which resulted in Olympic wins
  • Awarded an OBE in 1989
  • Coach of the year 1985, 1988 and 1998
  • Received the Mussabini medal, which is part of the National Coaching Foundation’s UK Hall of Fame
  • Founder and creator of the MSC Coaching and Development programme at Portsmouth University

Mentoring that is transforming women’s leadership

Thought provoking and based on a wealth of personal experience. Great insights on raising our sights for professional development in the world of education.

David Laws, Schools Minister 2012-2015
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