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'He couldn't even use his hands': Knowles opens up on fight camp experience

Our new General Manager of Performance, Hayden Knowles, has an extensive resume when it comes to his craft.

With over 20 years experience as a rugby league performance coach, Knowles has been a part of many successful organisations.

The Performance Coach has also previously ventured into one of his other passions being combat sport.

On the latest edition of the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast, the new Performance Coach opened up on his time within fight camps, including that of a famous Australian boxing champion.

“I’ve been working in rugby league for 21 full-time years,” Knowles said.

“For six of those years, Danny Green was a part of that. I worked as his conditioner.

“He went through some really big parts of his career (during that time), and I was privileged to be apart of that.

“There was a few world titles involved there."

Knowles has also spent time observing other world-renowned sports and taking notes on their methods.

From meetings and training sessions with huge Italian football club, Juventus, to spending a lunch with legendary football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the Coach has made it his mission to build on his knowledge of player performance.

Knowles: Kalyn has a 'burning desire to win'

The Performance Coach also shared an incredible story from a training camp he spent with former UFC fighter, James Te Huna.

“James Te Huna is on board,” Knowles said.

“The way he just walks forward to a challenge no matter what type of adversity (is inspiring).

“I was with him for a fight preparation in Colorado (USA), where he couldn’t even use his hands.

“He couldn’t spar, he couldn’t do anything he had injuries on both sides.

“The power of visualisation and seeing what his opponent was going to do and he timed this uppercut to perfection to win the fight within 47 seconds.

“The mindset of that, I’m big on.”

“Not only have I helped athletes of other sports, but they’ve also influenced how I now work with rugby league players," Knowles continued.

“I’ve always travelled around the world trying to learn off different sports.

“Whether it be soccer in Europe, or whether it be NFL. Spending a couple of weeks with athletes in Jamaica for example. "

"Different sports have moulded who I am and different coaches have moulded who I am."

Listen to the full episode HERE to hear more about his appointment and the new staff members, his first meeting with Kalyn Ponga and his best seat in the house for a memorable Origin moment plus much, much more.