The Senior squad ventured to Lyrup last weekend for a preseason camp. The camp was an opportunity for players to spend some extended time together in both training and social environments. The theme or focus of the camp was on further developing trust within and between both the playing and coaching group. Saturday morning included a 2.5 hour training session at Berri Football Club. We were greeted by almost tropical conditions with humidity and rain. It was pleasing to see the players adjust to the wet conditions. It was also an opportunity to meet some of the Riverland Club coaches who joined the session. After the session, players returned to Lyrup to try their hand at other sports- golf, tennis, basketball and cricket. Whilst the competition was fierce, the standard was not! We certainly make better footballers than golfers!!
After lunch the players were set on a 3 hour team building run through the bushland. This included various team challenges, whilst also carrying teammates and truck tyres. Each challenge had a 10 minute limit for completion so the players needed to not only work together physically but also mentally to find solutions.
Saturday dinner was at the Lyrup Social Club, which was a great feed for 60 very hungry players. This was followed by a Lawn bowls competition. Thanks to the Lyrup Club for assisting.
Players were greeted with a 5.30am wake-up on Sunday morning and by 6am we headed off for a 2.5km run to our training venue for the morning- Lyrup sandhills. Here the players completed 2 individual races and 2 group races. Each represented a quarter of football. The group races required each team to carry a player (wrapped in a tarp) and a truck tyre around the course. Neither could touch the ground at any stage. Upon conclusion, the players again raced back to the accommodation whilst carrying a teammate and tyre. The exercise was built around teamwork and challenged players to maintain high performance under duress (a key element of trust). It was great to see the players excel at such a difficult challenge.
The camp concluded with another football training session which focused on our team defensive structures. Whilst sore and fatigued the player were challenged to maintain their focus and intensity.
Overall, the camp was a great success. All players proved their worth and their want to be part of our group going forward. Importantly, we will continue to reflect and draw upon the camp experience when challenged throughout the year.
A big thanks to Kelly and John from Padaley Lodge for providing a great venue and the Berri Bakehouse for lunch on Saturday. Also thanks to all the volunteers who assisted in the planning and coordination of the camp- we cannot run theses camps without your assistance.