PRE-Season training for the Canberra Raiders NRL team involved players being put through their paces on a two-day camp in Kangaroo Valley.
The Raiders’ players swapped the footy field for mud and military-style obstacles as they undertook a special Tough Mudder training session.
Tough Mudder is all about teamwork, so the focus of the training was about getting the players to work together through some challenging obstacles.
Tough Mudder’s Australian ambassador and military trainer Lee Campbell said the boot camp was designed to be mentally and physically punishing, while also encouraging the players to work together.
Canberra coach David Furner said the two-day camp pushed his players to the limits.
“As a coaching group we looked at what we needed as a team and obviously mental toughness and consistency while working under fatigue was part of that and that’s what Lee at Tough Mudder put the players through,” he said.
“It’s all about being able to make decisions and the right decisions at crucial times while fatigued.
“We had a good back end of the season where the boys really played for each other and we were looking to build on that.”
Thirty-six players made the trip to the Valley which saw them on day one undertake a 20km walk while picking up rations.
That was followed by a military style boot camp at a local farm, where they battled through dams, mud and various obstacles.
That was followed by other activities late into the evening.
As the players prepared to bunk down for the night they were roused again at 10.30pm for another two-hour Tough Mudder obstacle course.
They were back at it again by 5am Friday, undertaking a team building exercise in which they carried logs through the bush for around 10km before tackling a river crossing and then walking into the Valley township, where they undertook their final drills and had a recovery session in the local pool.
Furner is happy with the side’s progress.
“It is only early days but things are shaping up well,” he said.
“At this time of the year it’s all about preparation, getting the players physically and mentally right and putting structures in place is important.
“We have a number of guys coming back from injury like Terry Campese, Brett White and Glen Buttriss and they all trained really well.”
Other big name players Josh Dugan, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and David Shillington also took part in the camp.
RECOVERY: Canberra Raiders players undertake their recovery session in the Kangaroo Valley Pool.
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