Pre Season Training Reaches Highest Limits

Pre-season training for 30 of the most talented young footballers in Gippsland is about to get a lot harder.

A select group from the current Gippsland Power TAC Cup training squad have been chosen to attend the Power’s pre-season camp at Mount Hotham.

The club tested the waters in 2012 with a smaller version of the camp and were very pleased with the results. The fitness benefits gained led to Power being the fittest team at the annual TAC Cup fitness testing day. The bond developed between the players on the inaugural camp enabled Power to play a brand of team football that led them to the 2012 TAC Cup Grand Final.

Encouraged by that success, Power has expanded this year’s camp with more players attending. This year’s camp has also been extended to a full week that will challenge the boys physically and mentally.

Coach Nick Stevens is looking forward to the challenge. “The camp is a great opportunity to take the boys to Mount Hotham and put them through a pretty gruelling seven days.”

“A lot of the camp is above the shoulders, we are out there doing a lot of hard work. The smallest hike is 8 kilometres and the longest one is 33 kilometres in one day. Along with these hikes we will be doing some really tough boxing sessions and skills work.”

The boys will certainly be pushed to their limits and pushed out of their comfort zone, but it’s not all just physical training. Each night they will be put through a number of educational sessions ranging from game plans and structures through to counselling on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, the use of social media and respect and responsibility.

The logistics of coaching a team that comes from such a vast region is a tough job for Stevens. Unlike the metro teams who have three to four sessions together, the full Power squad only trains together once a week.

Stevens admits “the gap is probably widening a bit between the metro and the country boys because they do only get the one day a week.” Having 30 of the boys together for a week will go a long way towards bridging that gap. “We really do think that we run a good program and a good camp and the boys come out better for it.” 

Stevens is looking forward to getting to know the different personalities in his new squad. “It’s a really good chance for everyone to bond and get know each other, along with the players getting to know the coaching staff. It’s just a fantastic trip and one that we thought last year really paid dividends in our results throughout the year.”

The club is hoping that once again climbing huge mountains in January leads to climbing another type of mountain in September.


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