Briersys Blog: Part 3
Friday 18th January
Friday was without question the most physically demanding day of the camp. In the morning we did full contact tackling on the volleyball court. I was throwing my weight about and showing the props how to tackle, however this was made even tougher as we were based in sand and therefore had very tired legs.
This was followed by a session with our physio working on flexibility and core control. After those two 45-minute sessions we participated in a 13 on 13 game. We worked on aspects we had discussed in the meeting the night before. The players are looking really sharp and you can sense the competition for places as the high intensity games are of real quality despite being near the end of a gruelling week. This highlights another benefit of having a large squad of quality players, everyone is vying for a position in the match day 17 so everyone is pushing each other wanting to impress the coaching staff and to earn the right to be selected.
I can honestly say any of our 31 players on camp would do a fantastic job if selected to play.
The afternoon session and apprehension filled the air as rumours of extreme fitness training was on the menu. In the pre-fitness training the atmosphere can sometimes be like nervous kids before a test, unsure what lies ahead of them. Chris, our conditioner, then says one word that strikes dread throughout my body HILLS.
The hills session comprised of 12 sprints up a steep gradient which was around 200m long. This had to be one of the hardest sessions I have ever taken part in. In my group were Gareth O'Brien, Brett Hodgson and Rich Myler, each of us pushing one another all the way whilst also giving each other lots of encouragement. I must say I was, at times, finding it hard to breath let alone speak. Although the session was so tough I was nearly physically sick, the joy after completion was euphoric. These tough sessions will pay dividends throughout the season. Not only are the physical benefits enormous but so are the psychological benefits too. When you think you can't run anymore and your legs are full of fatigue you overcome the natural sensation to stop and continue to sprint up the hill. After the session there was a buzz amongst the group as a sense of fulfilment and shared achievement of overcoming such extreme training in blazing heat was celebrated.
Saturday 20th January
Saturday was a rest day apart from our own mini biathlon on the beach in the morning. We split into groups and had to do a 150 metre sprint on the sand then into the sea for a 200 metre swim, three times! (Not bad for a rest day) considering I swim like a pebble in mud I'm surprised the coastal guards where not called as I battled through the choppy waves. Although I must say I did look like David Hasselhoff striding across the beach!
We had a well-earned afternoon off. Some of the lads went to the Sian Water Park which sounded fantastic, other lads went to do a bit of shopping, me, I went to bed and slept.
21, Jan, 2013