A FORMER aerobics instructor with a karate black-belt and a triple university degree is the secret weapon behind David Warner’s summer scoreboard assault.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal John Novak — the “mind coach’’ who has worked with two NRL clubs — has switched from rugby league to cricket and is now coaching several players including Australian vice-captain Warner.
Best known as the mysterious mind guru who helped guide Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler to two NRL premierships with the Manly Sea Eagles, Novak confirmed he is working with the player recently nicknamed the “run-scoring reverend’’ by his teammates.
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“Apparently that has been his nickname since I have been working with him,’’ Novak said.
“He has begun preaching about positivity and some of the different mind techniques I have been teaching him.’’
Novak, the inventor of sport’s psychology tool “The Boomerang Effect’’, was introduced to Warner by the Australian star’s wife and has been teaching the cricketer mind tricks to improve his performance.
Australian opener David Warner is in outstanding form.
“I have worked with Candice (Warner),’’ Novak said.
“And she introduced us. ‘Let’s stay positive no matter what happens’ is the biggest message I am sending him. It is a big challenge in this sport. There are so many variables and he needs to be positive to be successful.’’
One of Novak’s claims to fame is that he beat Rocky IV movie hard man Dolph Lundgren in an international Karate contest.
Novak also co-hosted Aerobics Oz Style on Channel Ten between 1986 and 1990 and was the health and fitness presenter on Good Morning Australia.
“He (Warner) has a couple of key words that are helping him,’’ Novak said.
“He picked some personal words that he uses to help him through an innings. He doesn’t need motivation but he just needs that calm certainty that we have seen recently.’’
Novak is hoping to work with Warner after the conclusion of his contract and has already started working with other top level cricketers.
“I am so excited about this opportunity,’’ Novak said.
“And I would like it to continue. I think this could be a very successful partnership. His talent is really limitless and there is no reason that he can’t stay on top for another five or ten years.’’
The Sydney-based academic got his sporting start in golf before going on to work fulltime for Hasler.
‘’John works across a number of spheres,’’ Hasler said when Novak was at the Bulldogs.
“He is the author of a book called The Boomerang Effect, which is a strategy for golf.
“I guess the ultimate message we are trying to reach is one of positivity … and we are going to need every bit of that positivity because when you talk about performance, you look across the stage [at the Storm], and dare I say it, they have certainly been a benchmark in consistency.’’
Novak resigned from the Bulldogs at the end of this NRL season after a full review saw the club put the broom through Hasler’s coaching staff.
He is still working with a number of NRL players and may be hired by the Bulldogs on a casual basis.