Spotlight On: Dr Dan Hiscock

Posted July 25, 2022 in Interviews & Spotlights, Teacher Spotlights, The Wesleyan By Lachlan Fitzgerald

As well as bringing the best out of our students, Dr Hiscock has worked with national and domestic teams like the Kookaburras, West Coast Eagles and some of Australia’s best golfers. His philosophy is to keep it simple.

As the Assistant Head of Sport and High Performance Manager, how do you apply high-performance sport to a school situation?

Working in Sports Science, a lot of my role is problem-solving for different athletes, to help them achieve their best within their schedule. What I’m really enjoying here at Wesley is that my role allows me to use that skill for each student from PK to Year 12. For example, our programs in the Junior School help gross motor skill development, while our Unigym program in the Middle and Senior Schools help students develop physical development skills for life. Problem-solving is the most fun part of my job.

What is the key attribute needed to coach?

Great coaches have a combination of great technical knowledge and the skill to relate and engage with each student on an individual basis. For me, basketball was my main sport as a junior, and growing up I played with some very talented players. The coach knew that I played my best when he played me in short and sharp bursts to do all the little things for the team. Where others may have experienced frustration for not playing long minutes, I felt engaged and ready because the coach had given me a role to play in the team.

How did you decide you wanted to study for your PhD?

As an undergraduate, I spent time at the West Coast Eagles doing my practical and honours research, studying player running patterns and how certain conditions would impact upon their performance. This opportunity opened doors to work with the Kookaburras in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics before undertaking my PhD in workload monitoring in resistance training. A lot of my role at Wesley is planning schedules for students that assist in maximising physical development and minimising fatigue. This decision making comes back to where my own research, and the research of others, has informed us to date.

What is one step that we can take to live a fitter and healthier life?

It comes back to developing healthy habits and routines. Put simply, the body has three movements—we flex, extend and rotate. A balance between aerobic and resistance exercise can help us to maintain these three movements and help people stay healthy and functional. For any person, choosing an activity which is practical and easy to make a habit and routine over time is important. If you try and achieve too much too early then it’s unlikely to be sustainable due to the time needed to recover
from sessions.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2022 edition of The Wesleyan. To read more, click here.

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