“My goal is to get the best out training, and not waste time on teaching stance. Besides taking time away to teach, their sprint times will change drastically from recording their initial data without coaching stance, to changing their stance then tracking their times. They’re instantly going to get faster.”
– Patrick Nolan on coaching strength and conditioning.
Patrick Nolan is the owner and founder of Pivotal Sports Performance located in Denver, Colorado, and. is also the head strength and conditioning coach at Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colorado. His number one mission when coaching strength and conditioning with all athletes is to leave an impact that lasts longer than any scoreboard. Among many accolades in his professional career, Patrick served as the Colorado State Director for the National High School Strength Coach Association (NHSSCA) from 2018 – 2020 and was named Rocky Mountain Regional Strength Coach of the Year in 2018. Patrick has worked with hundreds of athletes ranging from the age of 10 years old to professionals who play at the highest level of sports (NFL, MLB, NHL, PLL, NLL). He has worked with athletes that have gone on to earn NCAA D1 scholarships along with athletes participating in the NFL Scouting Combine. Patrick is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), has completed all three phases of EXOS Sports Performance Mentorship in San Diego, CA, and is also a certified EXOS Performance Specialist (XPS). He also holds his Level 1 certification in Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Safe to say, Patrick Nolan knows his stuff when it comes to coaching strength and conditioning.
If Patrick is not training athletes, he is probably out playing a sport himself.
Patrick Nolan grew up just outside of Chicago, Illinois where he was a three-sport athlete competing in football, baseball and hockey. He then attended Florida State University where he played club hockey and earned his B.S. in Exercise Science in 2013.
“I was lucky enough to attend a sports performance gym when I was in high school and the impact it had on me is tough to put into words… First, it inspired me to get into this field and secondly, it inspired me to return the favor and impact the next generation, whether it is advancing to the next level of competition of just becoming more courageous in life!”
From an interview with Patrick Nolan, Owner and Founder of Pivotal Sports Performance…
“When it comes to coaching strength and conditioning, if you’re not testing you’re guessing”
Everyone seems to get a little tense when the Swift timing systems come out for testing, especially my high school athletes. Before we test the 10yd fly for example, I lighten the mood by joking with them that their times are just for them and not going out to NFL scouts. I also tell them that the times are for them to see if they need to fire me or not, and to see if our program is working correctly. Keeping it light breaks the mood and loosens them up. I also educate our athletes that there will be times throughout the year when they record slower times. For example, during the off-season when we’re doing a lot of heavy strength and hypertrophy work in the weight room, the athletes are going to feel more sluggish and soar in their 10yd sprint, versus when we’re doing more power and speed development leading up to a season. In truth, this is another great reason to test them, because these athletes are competitive and are competing against themselves. None of them want to have their times dip, although there are going to be times throughout a program that they’re going to dip just because of different factors.
See how Swiftlabs can manage athlete times
In terms of my coaching, the database of performance information allows me to make adjustments to programming, test elements against outside stressors, and build a viable program to help my athletes. The biggest thing for me with testing is the competitive piece. Whether it’s the fastest athlete on the team or the slowest, their personal times continually give them something to reach for no matter what. And honestly if they really want to get better and do well in sports, they’re going to put in the effort to improve. With data as a motivator you can learn a lot about an athlete and an athlete can learn about themselves, even just through a basic measurable such as the vertical jump, a 10yd sprint, or a flying 10.
Through the process of taking ownership to better themselves, athletes begin to have more courage in the gym, which translates directly on the field to face adversity and attack it head on.