The final Xmas holiday training session saw the Year 9 Broncos Cup Squad gather at Logan West Aquatic & Fitness Centre on Tuesday January 16.
The young Makos had recovered from a brutal hit-out at Logan Brothers R.L.C. a few days before and were looking forward to finishing up their preseason campaign with a tough workout in the pool.
Under clear blue sky and with many parents and pool patrons looking on with interest, the session kicked off at 9:30am with a warm-up followed by some conditioning on the outdoor grass area.
This consisted of a series of 45 second shuttles (See above) to imitate the actions of movement off the line in defence and a reload; plus some ‘piggy-in-the-middle’ wrestling (See video below).
Under fatigue, the boys were then put through a range of individual and partner supported movements which included push-up-dips, bridge crawls/hurdles and more.
The aim here was to challenge core, upper/lower body strength, coordination and team work.
The outdoor component concluded with some basic tackle tech in 2m x 2m tackle squares with the focus again on strong first contact, sticking and keeping in the front space of the ball carrier.
See pictured left and above, Makos had to execute 2 successful hit and sticks while maintaining the front space post contact before being allowed to exit the square.
At 10:00am, staff and the playing group relocated to the indoor pool area for the second part of the session and, now dripping in sweat, they were super quick to get their kit off and leap into the water!
Here, players performed a variety of low-impact aquatic exercises aimed at improving cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, and increasing muscle tone.
Most of the group had re-commenced preseason training with local feeder clubs also so the pool session also served to rehabilitate soft tissue injuries, sore muscles and joints and reduce stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments incurred through Club conditioning sessions.
The pool routine consisted of…
- Running through the water forwards – 2 laps
- Running through the water backwards – 2 laps
- Side-2-side skips – 1 lap
- Kickboard laps – 4 laps
- Freestyle swimming – 1 lap
- Tricep crossovers – 1 lap
- Box jumps à tricep pulls ups facing the side of the pool
- Jump knee tucks
- And more…
According to the Group, one of the most demanding tasks had players gripping the side of the pool, with arms outstretched, and kicking straight legs as fast as they could for 30 seconds and then straight into 30 seconds of treading water.
By the end of 6 repeats, leg weary players were struggling to stay afloat!
Players were rewarded for their committed attitude with 10 minutes of free time at the end of the session, and with a handful of footies tossed into the water, suddenly rediscovered their energy.
A quick scan of the pool saw mini games of volleyball with a footy over overhanging flag lines, piggy back wrestles, 1 handed grid-iron throws from one end of the pool to the other, swimming races and more.
Despite being able to let their hair down in some unstructured free play, the boys were conscious of their presence in the community and maintained responsible behaviour at all times.
This strenuous session was a terrific change up from the hardcore/heavy impact stuff we’d done over the past 6 weeks.
Not only does exercising in water offer resistance in all directions (compared to land exercises where you work only against gravity) but it acts as a cushion for the body’s weight-bearing joints.
And based on the feedback of MSHS parents and players after the session had ended, it was also lots of fun!
The vigorous pool component wrapped up after 60 minutes and while some departed the venue with aching arms and wobbly legs, others took up the invitation to experience a water polo coaching clinic put on by members of Waterpolo Qld.
Congratulations to all players who attended today’s session, a fitting finale to an incredibly tough yet enjoyable series of sessions on the Xmas holidays.
The Coaching Staff is really excited by the pride, passion and persistence shown by all squad members and are confident we’ll improve on our 4th placing in 2017 and give this year’s Bronco’s Cup championship a real shake.
A big thanks also to Glen Ryan from Logan West Aquatic & Fitness Centre for looking after us at the venue today and being really accommodating to our requests.
With an outdoor grass area, fully indoor heated facility, 25m lap pool, gym, health club, water slide, cafe and creche, this really is the perfect training venue and we’ll certainly be back in the future.
See you back at school next week for the beginning of the 2018 school year.
Darren Johnston, Coach
# For more info on the Yr 9 Rugby League Excellence program at MSHS, or other year levels, please contact the Coordinator Matt Hartigan on 0401 652 331.