Recently crowned shot put world champion Tom Walsh believes meditation is a key factor behind the success he has enjoyed over the past three years of his athletics career.

Walsh won gold in the World Athletics Championships in London last week, throwing 22.03 metres in the final to take the title ahead of fellow medallists Joe Kovac of the USA and Croatian Stipe Žunić.

His world title is the most recent of a series of accolades that the 25-year-old has been accumulating since 2014 - the year he won bronze in his first senior international competition at the World Indoor Championships at Sopot, Poland.

"It was 2014 [when] I cracked through and got that shot in Poland, beating a Polish for third place by a few centimetres," Walsh told Newstalk ZB's Mark Watson.


"I'm going to say it was six months before that, I missed out on world champs by one centimeter in terms of qualifying. The qualifying distance was 20.10m and I threw 20.09m.

"In a comp earlier, I'd thrown 20.07m as well, so I'd missed out on it twice in two different comps by not a lot - one centimeter once and three centimetres the other time."

Walsh said it was at that stage of his career that he knew he had significant potential within his athletics career that was yet to be realised.

"I guess that was the year when I knew that I had more in me, and I just really wanted it," said the Timaru native.

"Over that six month period between then and winning that bronze at World Indoors, I looked at myself pretty hard, I looked at what my team was doing, and looked at how we could improve."

One aspect of his game that Walsh believed he could have improved was his mentality. As a result, meditation became a vital part of Walsh's training regime.

"I do spend a lot of the time in the gym, but the stuff people don't know about or don't want to know is the mental side of it," he said.

"It's done at home, meditating is done with my sports psychologist. I do - at least every day - some mental side of it, and that's really the reason why I think I've been so consistent over the last three years now with my throwing. Without that mental side, I don't think I would be competing as well on the big stage.

"But obviously there is a lot of time throwing as well, and stretching and doing rehab stuff, and if you ever talk to any sportsperson, rehabbing is never enjoyable at all.

"When you're rehabbing, it's hard work, but it's work that needs to be done, and with all those things, I feel like it's why I'm here right now."

The rehabilitation process is one Walsh is currently undertaking after tearing his groin in London.

"The injury is good, it's coming along really well. I've been back into rehab stuff now for three days, so the groin is feeling a lot better, there's not as much pain."

Walsh believed the injury would not rule him out of the upcoming Müller Grand Prix in Birmingham, England next week, an event that would be his first since claiming the world title.

"I reckon I should be fine for Birmingham, but it's very important to me that I get this sorted out first and foremost and don't do more damage to it."