Over the last dozen years Dan Noble has helped transform the Hill Academy from a brand new school to one of the top performing high schools in North America. How has he done it? By forging his own path and rethinking what has always been done in sports like hockey, football, and lacrosse. On this episode of the podcast he joins us to discuss what made him rethink his philosophy, how he went about integrating ideas from Frans Bosch and Vern Gambetta, and what he does to get the most from training through better organization.
Highlights and Quotes
Coach Noble has been the Director of Athlete Performance & Physical Education at the Hill Academy in Canada since 2005. In addition, he also runs Noble Sports & Performance where he has coached numerous professional hockey players and the Chinese Women’s National Ice Hockey Program.
Trying Something New
Noble started out his career with a traditional strength-first mindset, but that changed as he gained more experience. In the episode he explains why that was the case and also how he has taken and integrated concepts from Frans Bosch and Vern Gambetta in training, and how he has tried to combine different ideas to make his own unique approach.
- 10:30 – A look at how he implemented some of Frans Bosch’s methods into his training.
- 12.00 – “Getting people strong is the easy part. Making people better at their sport and keeping them healthy is harder.”
- 19.00 – Sometimes people miss the point when watching exercises on social media. “When you watch something online you see the exercise, not the feeling. “
- 32:00 – “Building robust athletes is a mindset; it comes down to everything you do. “
- 36:30 – Defining specific needs for hockey.
- 40:30 – Rethinking plyometrics for in relation to sports specificity.
- 41:00 – The importance of foundational training.
Organize Your Training
In addition, as his career progressed he started to rethink the standard linear approach to planning and instead focus more on the specific objectives they were looking to achieve.
- 25:00 – Nonlinear periodization: “I was graduating people through phases without understanding that they were accomplishing what I was looking for. What are your clear objectives for each phase?”
- 26:00 – “We spend less time defining training blocks and more time getting kids moving. “
- 28:00 – Defining goals for your training session. “We try to do something every single day. Define a goal for the day, let them work through it and get a clear understanding of what we are looking for.” 33 min?
- 44:45 – “Lines, laps and lectures are the fastest way to kill an athlete. “
- 48:00 – Developing leadership within the team to help make practice more efficient and organized.
Becoming a Better Coach
At GAIN Dan talked about his method of connecting with athletes and we also discussing this point.
- 35:30 – Be all you can be: “If you are able to sit back and cross your arms while the program is happening, could you be doing something better? “
- 45:30 – Connecting with athletes: “We start training with a 2-minute talk. I need to connect with athletes on a human level before I connect on a coaching level. “
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
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- You can find Noble on Twitter at @coachnoble45. You can also learn more about the Hill Academy and Hill Performance on their website.
- Members can learn more about the topics we discussed by watching Lesson 7: Robust Running in the HMMR Classroom. Coach John Pryor demonstrates how to put Frans Bosch’s concepts into practice.
- You can learn more about Bosch’s approach in his book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach. We have also published an interview with him and review of the book.
- Noble was also one of several guests on the recent GAINcast 72, recorded live from GAIN 2017.