The Secret Imagination of Elite Performers

In a world where success and failure can be measured so publicly, former Army Officer and Olympic Psychologist Charlie Unwin explores the intuitive qualities and mental skills that separate high achievers from the rest.  In doing so he draws upon his own experience to expose the paradox of a so-called winning mindset and suggests how we could all be applying the most effective tool in sport psychology to enrich our everyday life.

Charlie graduated from Durham University where he read Psychology before joining the British Army as an officer in 2001. After a year at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Charlie commissioned into the Royal Horse Artillery with whom he served in Iraq as a platoon commander. There he was responsible for conducting counter-insurgency operations as well as training and recruiting the new Basra police force.

On return from Iraq Charlie was seconded into the Great Britain Modern Pentathlon Team in Bath. Within two years Charlie was selected to compete for Great Britain at the World Championships. In 2007 Charlie was National Champion.

It was during his time as an athlete that Charlie’s passion for applied psychology flourished, believing this to be a fundamental contributor towards his achievements rather than raw talent! Whilst gaining a further MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology at Brunel University, Charlie won a national award for his applied research into “motivational climate”.

Since then Charlie has worked with Olympic teams and athletes from five different sports. As the Performance Psychologist for GB Skeleton, Charlie worked with Lizzy Yarnold towards her becoming Olympic Champion at the Sochi Games in 2014. Since then he has contributed towards at least 7 European Gold Medals with athletes and teams across numerous sports.

Charlie now shares his time between sport and business, working with global organisations and entrepreneurs to help them to achieve their own performance aspirations. He shares the latest research and practical insights into high performing environments, team dynamics, leadership, coaching and resilience.

Charlie has designed and delivered programmes for a number of global companies including Coca-Cola, Sainsbury’s, Virgin, Lego and Dyson.