Masking the pain
Friday 21 December 2012 4:48 PM
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Knights NYC squad were joined by a handful NRL squad members for a gruelling day of physically and mentally testing exercises on Friday.
The players started their day at 5am and continued into the late afternoon carrying out Army-style exercises that saw them lugging heavy equipment across uncompromising terrain whilst wearing gas masks.
Forward Neville Costigan was one of the NRL squad members who took part and said the exercise was just the latest chapter of what has been a difficult, but rewarding pre-season to date.
“It’s been tough, but it’s been pretty good at the same time. All the boys are heaps fitter this year than what they were last year,” Costigan said.
“It’s not all about physical fitness, it’s about mental fitness, especially for the younger blokes because they need it.
“When I was younger I used to look up to the older blokes for a bit of encouragement and that, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.
‘Hopefully after the Christmas break we can pick it up another level and take it all the way through to the start of the season.”
Knights NYC player Jackson Hill said the difficulty of the day’s exercises had tested the squad.
“Just walking along the beach and going up the hills was hard enough, but it’s worse when you’ve got to carry the logs and equipment as well,” he said
“Wearing the gas masks doesn’t make it any easier because it takes all your breath away as well.
“It’s definitely hard work, but everyone’s got to push through it, work as a team and hopefully it will put us on the front foot for next year.”
Hill’s teammate Eddie Proudler echoed Hill’s sentiments, saying the workout had brought the playing group closer together.
“The older blokes have been pushing us along and we’re just learning all the mental toughness things that you need in games, so it’s been really good,” he said.