John Steven Novak

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John Steven Novak
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Born (1962-04-02) April 2, 1962 (age 62)
Alma materDe La Salle College
  • sports mind coach
  • author
  • speaker
  • radio host
  • fitness instructor

John Steven Novak (born 2nd April 1962) is a sports mind coach, author, speaker, radio host[1], fitness instructor and television presenter known for producing Australia's first television and video fitness program 'Aussie Fit'[2] and co-host of the Aerobics Oz Style[3] television series.

He is known for individually working[4] [5]with the NRL Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs[6][7], NRL Manly Warringah Sea Eagles[8], James Magnussen[9][10], David Warner[11][12], Melissa Wu[13]

Early life

Novak attended De La Salle College in Western Sydney before completing high school at St. Patrick's college in Strathfield, Sydney Australia.

From age 11, Novak trained in martial arts. He played representative rugby league for Western Suburbs Rugby Leagues Club and soccer for Sydney Croatia at age 15.

Novak retired from both sports to pursue Karate.

Sporting Career

He is a Karate 3rd dan black belt holder and is known for beating Dolph Lundgren in a NSW heavyweight Karate championship[14].

Novak retired from competition Karate in 1986 and re-entered competitive Karate in 1995. He represented New South Wales at the National Karate Championships.


Novak started his career as an Aerobics instructor for Healthlands (now Fitness First) gyms across Eastern Sydney and delivered approximately 5000 classes across Australia of up to 240 people.

Between 1986-1990 he co-hosted nationwide television program Aerobics Oz Style that aired for 24 seasons[15].

He demonstrated at-home fitness workouts and product endorsements in Fitness Segments on the television show Good Morning Australia alongside Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Bert Newton.

Novak produced the at-home workout video series called Aussie Fit in 1994 which sold in excess of 400,000 copies.

Sports Psychology

In early 2000, Novak and wife Theresa Novak[16][17] began formally researching and implementing the impact of positive psychology on sports performance they titled 'The Boomerang Effect'[18].

He worked one-on-one with professional golfers[19] [20][21]and published a golfing mind game[22] before working individually with Olympians such as James Magnussen[23] [24]and Melissa Wu[25], NRL teams Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs[26] and Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, and cricketer David Warner.

Novak ceased working with Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs after the club finalised his contract in October 2016[27].


Novak completed undergraduate studies at the University of NSW receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1982 and then a Master's degree in Political Science at George Washington University in 1987. He then qualified as a practicing Lawyer from The University of Sydney in 1989.

In 2009 he completed a Diploma of Health Counselling.


  1. Maynard, Clinton (April 21, 2019). "Clinton Maynard with John Novak". Australia Overnight (weekends).{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. Liosatos, Tonia (August 5, 1992). "Calling all couch potatoes: get fit". The Canberra Times.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Walter, Brad (September 28, 2012). "Mind management Oz style: Novak has the Dogs thinking". The Sydney Morning Herald.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Maynard, Clinton (September 14, 2016). "The Mind Coach - John Novak - Great Leadership". 2UE Sports Today.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Maynard, Clinton (June 29, 2016). "John Novak - The Mind Coach". 2UE Sports Today.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Read, Brent (September 28, 2012). "Mind games the genius behind Hasler's success". The Australian.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "The psychology of creating a culture club: Former Canterbury-Bulldogs Mind Guru John Novak reveals secrets to strong rugby league culture". The Daily Telegraph. June 19, 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Hinds, Richard (October 8, 2011). "Power of positive thinking guided Hasler's heroes to karma waters and title glory". The Sydney Morning Herald.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Balym, Todd (July 29, 2016). "James Magnussen reveals London Olympic anguish as he sets sights on Rio and beyond". The Daily Telegraph.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Lane, Daniel (July 19, 2014). "James Magnussen powered by positive energy of mind games for Glasgow". The Sydney Morning Herald.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Phelps, James (December 10, 2016). "John Novak is the mysterious mind guru who has David Warner preaching his message". The Daily Telegraph.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. Hoult, Nick (November 3, 2017). "David Warner: 'There was stuff in my life that was a inexcusable'". The Telegraph.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. Lane, Daniel (July 30, 2014). "Commonwealth Games: Mental training the key to diver Melissa Wu's success". The Sydney Morning Herald.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. Walter, Brad (September 28, 2012). "Mind management Oz style: Novak has the Dogs thinking". WA Today.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. Knox, David (September 3, 2012). "Aerobics Oz Style returns to Australian TV". TV Tonight.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. Novak, T; Scanlan, J; McCaul, D; MacDonald, N; Clarke, T (September 26, 2012). "Pilot study of a sensory room in an acute inpatient psychiatric unit". Australasian Psychiatry. 20 (5): 401–406. doi:10.1177/1039856212459585. PMID 23014117.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. Scanlan, J. N; Novak, T (September 15, 2011). "Sensory approaches in mental health: A scoping review". Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 62 (5): 277–285. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12224. PMID 26358506.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. Lane, Daniel (May 3, 2014). "Golden Boomerang promises return to success". The Sydney Morning Herald.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. Newton, Jack. "An Abundance of Talent in NSW". Jack Newton Junior Golf.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. Tease, Dave (May 3, 2019). "Blues set for interstate glory". Golf NSW.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. Blake, Martin (January 13, 2020). "A year on, Barbieri targets". Golf Australia.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. "Be, boomerang effect : golf mind game". May 1, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. Lonergan, Dan (December 2, 2014). "The best of Grandstand Breakfast with Francis Leach". ABC Radio.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. Rokur (March 10, 2013). "Swimmer James Magnussen helped by mind guru at NRL's Bulldogs". Swimmer's Daily.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. Lane, Daniel (April 6, 2016). "Joshua and Madeline Wu giving 'big' sister and Olympic hero Melissa a huge lift". Beaudesert Times.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. Carayannis, Michael (July 26, 2013). "It's all in the mind as the Bulldogs try to regain mojo". The Northern Daily Leader.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. Walsh, Dan (November 30, 2016). "NRL 2017: Des Hasler locks in David Penna as assistant coach at Canterbury after staff overhaul". Fox League.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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