Hit the ground running...2022 so far

Welcome to the first ever blog / newsletter in the history of Noonan Performance!

With each edition, my goal is to reach and support as many of you as possible by sharing insights and ideas that help move the needle by at least 1%.

Simple and (hopefully) thought provoking, I’ll discuss everything from coaching practice to business ideas with the aim to give and help you more.

Without further ado, here’s what’s going on in my world…


The Formula motorsport 2022 season is here! With a proposed 22 rounds of racing in Formula 1 taking between Mar–Nov, spanning four continents with drivers facing punishing climates across 22 different racetracks. The Formula 2 calendar by contrast, packs a smaller competition schedule of 14 Grand Prix’s and 2 official test events, over 9 months.

On paper, the ratio of 1-2 grand prix weekends per month is the physical preparation coach’s dream; ample time for structured developmental and restorative work around competition weekends. The reality though is very different, drivers are constantly on the move between home, team factories, simulator training, sponsor/management meetings and training locations, each clocking up the air miles!

One of the biggest challenges for the coach, is to help athletes find a synergy between personal/lifestyle engagements, training, and racing commitments across the year to optimise competition performance, while avoiding burnout – easier said than done!

Photo credit: Instagram @dutchphotoagency

Unlike other sports, the motorsport Preseason Testing events are used to prepare for the upcoming season; capturing performance data, configuring car setups, and developing running strategies teams later deploy in competition rounds. The major challenge facing teams and drivers, however, is that they have a just 6 days with the vehicles to develop a car and race philosophy for the start of the season – just 6 days! Let that sink in…

From a physical perspective, we have an ~8wk window (Jan–Feb) to work on a range of competition elements, to get ‘race ready’. This includes maximum strength, VO2max, biomechanics, body composition, and vestibular and cognitive capacities, and more. With the scarcity of time in the car, placing a strong emphasis on driving and competition-related capabilities is not only smart, but essential for the motorsport skill-based athlete.

Having worked with numerous drivers over the past 4 years, I’ve learned that time in the car developing technical and cerebral qualities and race craft is a big contributor to competition success. Beyond that, drivers need to be aerobically fit, possess good global strength (especially neck strength), have good body comp. and be on their way to developing the mental abilities to thrive under high-pressure racing conditions.

How you get here is the important part – we’ll discuss more
in the next instalment


“How to win at career decision making – The Family, Fulfilment & Finance Model”

Underpaid, overworked and feeling undervalued are arguably the most common issues burdening sport coaches and support staff for at least the past two decades.

I should know having worked for 15 years (and counting) in the sports coaching industry with elite teams in football, rugby union/league and Olympic Winter sports. In this time, I too have experienced the harsh reality of “putting the job first” –– Insufficient time for the family, poor self-care, and limited opportunities to scale upwards financially.

For far too long, I had accepted my circumstances were the “the cost of doing business”, until in 2019 I pressed “go” on a new direction as a self-employed Performance Consultant and created the business Noonan Performance .

Today I couldn’t be happier with the decision to start a business, although getting here wasn’t easy! Through this journey I’ve learned coaches rarely have a plan for their careers, much less a strategy about how to navigate the often-complex career decisions over a career lifespan. Overtime the vision for my career became clearer, while personal responsibilities also grew, with a wife and 3 children no less, and yet I still lacked clarity on how to make decisions that aligned with greater health, wealth and happiness.

This is why Josh Fletcher and I created a career decision making manual for coaches – How to win at career decision making: The Family, Fulfilment & Finance Model .

The first ever fillable manual of its kind for coaches, giving you a step-by-step framework to –

  1. Define where you are on a personal level so you can understand how a role/ job serves what you want and need in your life.
  2. Establish core personal values and a vision to giving you direction in your decision making.
  3. 8 key practical steps to confident career decisions.

 Get your copy here 


Building the ground up from the FOOT

I started paying attention to ‘the foot’ while training Rugby Union players back in 2011 – I’d throw guys a tennis ball prior to speed sessions to “roll-out” their plantar fascia (PF) with an aim to ‘wake up the feet’. The guys loved it, and If I’m honest, at the time I wasn’t 100% sure why this helped them feel “springy” and “lighter” during sprints and change of direction work… Through experimentation, I found ‘rolling’ the PF relieved some joint and tissue stiffness, altered proprioceptive feedback of the foot which meant it was easier to find a somewhat neutral foot position. While also raising awareness to how guys were striking the ground and moving on top of a dynamic foot.

“You can’t shoot a cannon from a canoe”

With 26 bones and 33 joints the foots job is complex and important to the function of all structures above it. Put simply, if your foot can’t find a stable (or neutral) position, how do you expect anything else to?

The supination to pronation drill seen here with Pro Rugby League client is fairly complex drill to do well, but nonetheless important to train supination > pronation moments at the foot, and to learn how to link these movements together.

Broadly speaking, folks who struggle to control their hip/ knee often have limitations at the foot on the same side with either/or a bias toward supination or pronation foot postures.

A foot that can’t supinate very well – means you can’t launch, jump or sprint forwards effectively. Whereas a foot that can’t pronate very well – means you may struggle to yield and decelerate effectively.

Assessing and improving the function of the foot forms an important part of my work with athletes and clients to 1. Optimise movement, and 2. Reduce risk of injury from poor mechanics.

You can watch this video here

Books and Podcasts


Category: Money

“Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” Dr Harv Eker

This book challenges societal thinking around building wealth and money management. Throughout the book Eker refers to ‘the millionaire mind method’ (which sounds very grand), yet it’s a formula that advises you segregate your monthly income into separate bank accounts (like, play/spending, investments, outgoings) rather than keeping your money in a singular account. In principle it makes a lot of sense. Remove the temptation of spending all your money through ill-discipline, slide funds into accounts that have a purpose (such as investments), while also ensuring you leave enough behind for ‘play’. If you don’t have a money management strategy in place already its worth a read, it just takes a while to give you ‘the what’.

3/5 stars.

Category: Business

“Happy Sexy Millionaire”

An incredibly refreshing and thought-provoking read and my favourite of the year so far from Steven Bartlett, a 29-year-old entrepreneur and self-made millionaire. Previously, founder and CEO of Social Chain (a $300 million dollar marketing company to some of the worlds biggest brands). Steven presents highly relatable stories and lessons ranging from his upbringing on a council estate in Moss side Manchester, to now millionaire entrepreneur, podcaster, speaker and Dragon (‘Dragons Den’, UK TV series). Challenging views around happiness, mindset, and values. Whoever you are, whatever your background and no matter what you do, we all need to hear the lessons Steven gives in this book – highly recommended!

5/5 stars.


Links to podcast conversations I’ve had this year so far –

DGR podcast – Episode #12, Link here 

In the episode we discuss –

– Business
– Breathing
– Neck Training
– Motor Sports
– David’s love for Toto Wolff!!
And more.

The LTAD Network Podcast – Episode #15, Link here

In the episode we discuss –

– The state of the industry

– Challenges through my own career

– How to navigate career decisions successfully

– The family, fulfilment and finance career decision making model

And more.

Thanks for reading.

Next up for me, the Barcelona Grand Prix this weekend, see you on the other side!


(The Glute)

Spread the word

Like this:

Like Loading...
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close