Nothing prepares you for an NRL pre-season. Whether it's the endless fitness drills on hot afternoons or long video sessions detailing your every strength and weakness, there's plenty to intimidate a young player fresh out of the Under 20s competition.
In this week's edition of the Rookie Diary with Brock Lamb and Josh King, we have a look at what it takes to make the adjustment from NYC to NRL standards.
What is the biggest difference between NYC and NRL training?
Lamb: I’d probably have to say the workload, there’s a lot of work in attack and defence. It’s eight o’clock in the morning until three in the afternoon, whereas in NYC it’s about two hours of training.
King: Probably the defence. We’re focusing a lot on defensive technique and different scenarios. The game is won on defence, so it’s very important.
What sort of things have you noticed NRL players doing that your younger team-mates don’t?
Lamb: They’re a lot more professional in what they do. Even in things like transitioning to a new drill, it’s quick and sharp.
King: Probably the biggest thing would be the preparation. The recovery and the stretching is all a lot more professional, so that’s one of the biggest parts.
How does it feel training alongside the big names?
Lamb: Hopefully I can be where they are now some day, so it’s good to be able to compare myself against the sort of calibre of player that we have here.
King: It’s pretty crazy, I never thought something like this would happen. I was lucky enough to get the chance, so hopefully I can make the most of it.
What do you see as some of your strengths in pre-season?
Lamb: It’s hard to say your own strengths, but trying to keep my fitness up where it should be is something that I need to keep working on.
King: I think one of the most important things is to have something away from footy as well. You just need something that you can use to take your mind of it and just do something for yourself.
What was the biggest challenge for you in your first week of pre-season?
Lamb: Definitely the fitness. The fitness is a big step up so hopefully I can get through this week.
King: Just the long days, I think. At the end of the day you’re just exhausted and ready to go to bed at four o’clock in the afternoon. Hopefully as we go along I get more used to it.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as Knights TV follows the young rookies as they progress through their first stint of fulltime NRL pre-season training. In case you missed Rookie Diary Week One, CLICK HERE.