03 Dec 2015
Pre-season training went into overdrive as the I Love Coffee Burleigh Bears travelled to the Canugra Army Barracks this past weekend.
Across 12 physically exhausting and mentally challenging hours, the 2016 playing group learned a lot about their teammates, their own ability to handle adversity and established the core values that will lead them through the upcoming season.
Coach Jim Lenihan said the trip to the Army Barracks has been in the works for a long time and that it was all about team-building and further establishing the leadership skills within the group.
“We have a lot of new players at the club and it’s a great way for them all to break the ice a little bit under some pain and adversity to get to know each other a bit better and see who naturally shone out as leaders for this coming season,” he said.
“We wanted to look to instil some values in the club and forge it through some teamwork and pain and make sure it galvanised over the weekend to give us a platform to work off for the rest of the year having our core values in mind.”
The players were put through a number of gruelling activities, all of which were centred on working as a unit to achieve the task at hand.
“Everyone on the day learned a bit about themselves in what they can do for the team,” Lenihan said.
“You might have an idea of what a person is like, but at the end of that day maybe you look at them and the character they’ve shown and have a greater admiration for them.
“The PTs out there had us flat lining physically for a lot of the day and when you are flat lining physically, how you react mentally as a group is really important for us.
“As a coaching staff we really learned a lot out of the day about who continually kept talking and those are the guys we’ll be basing our leadership around for the rest of the year.
“We’re certainly taking steps closer to having greater leadership on and off the field which will put us in a better position playing-wise, hopefully.”
The likes of Luke Page, Jamal Fogarty, Tyler Chadburn, Jamie Dowling and the Schwass brothers all caught the eye of the coaching staff while mainstays Louis Fanene and Darren Griffiths were also stand outs.
A brand new face also made an impression, as former Newcastle prop Pat Vaivai arrived for his first day with the Bears.
Vaivai made the long drive up from Newcastle on the Friday before getting on the bus at 6am the next morning to join his new teammates.
“He’s a big boy, probably about 120kgs, and we he really acquitted himself well,” Lenihan said.
“He probably had a lot of reasons to stop and give up but he didn’t and I think he probably won a lot of admiration from the players just for his effort on the weekend which is what the whole thing was designed to do.”
Lenihan said the remainder of the pre-season will be focused on continuing to improve fitness as he looks to have his players in the best mental and physical condition possible heading in to the 2016 Intrust Super Cup season.
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