THE Newcastle Knights will head into the unknown this week on a boot camp designed to take them out of their comfort zone.
Details about the camp have been a closely guarded secret and even players apparently have no idea about their destination, nor how long they will be staying.
It is understood military-style activities have been organised to push players to their physical and mental boundaries in a bid to foster resilience, team spirit and co-operation.
Newcastle's new Head of Physical Performance, Balin Cupples, said when he arrived at the club his job during the pre-season would be to “keep them uncomfortable”, and he will be hoping players emerge from this week’s camp with a steely new mindset.
Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce said last week he felt his teammates had been “evolving” since pre-season training kicked off in early November, and the influx of new coaching and support staff was having the desired effect.
“It’s not only the players, but also the staff,” he said.
“We had really good staff last year who took us to a certain level, and the club made some new choices to go again, and I’ve got no complaints about how it’s all come together.
“The sports science, it’s really tuned the boys up. Our strength feels great and, as a squad, the quality of the way the sessions are being set up is giving the boys plenty of learning lessons.”
Pearce said all clubs are “feeling pretty good about themselves” but there was a collective resolve among the Knights to stop talking about “rebuilding” and start delivering.
“The team has been working really hard physically,” he said.
“We’re trying to change our mentality on a lot of things ... and everyone is buying into it.”
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