Exactly two months after winning the Intrust Super Cup title, the I Luv Coffee Burleigh Bears have taken their pre-season training to brutal levels at the Kokoda Army Barracks.
Over 20 gruelling hours from 5pm on Saturday night (November 26) to 1pm on Sunday afternoon, 40 Bears were put through exhausting obstacles and activities designed to push them to their physical and mental limits.
The Kokoda Army Barracks played a key role in pre-season preparations last year and coach Jim Lenihan said getting the playing group out of their comfort zone was the perfect way to kick-start the pre-season this year.
The Burleigh Bears getting stuck into pre-season training. Photo: Vanessa Hafner
“We started last year at Kokoda establishing some core values that we thought were important to us as a club,” Lenihan said.
“We’re bringing a lot of new people into the club again this year, so early in the season I think it’s a great way for blokes to break the ice with each other and then forge those ideals and values through a bit of adversity.
“Even the people who were there last year didn’t expect what they got this year. It was certainly more gruelling and over a longer time period; so it was new for everyone.
“It is a good way for us to learn a bit about each other and for the boys to learn a bit about themselves … a really great way to start the year.”
The playing group went through sleep deprivation and various physically brutal activities all built around pushing them beyond physical and mental exhaustion.
Teamwork and communication were of the utmost importance as new and old players alike were forced to respond under the toughest possible circumstances and come together to learn about the club’s core values.
“You have to rely on each other to achieve these tasks,” Lenihan said.
“You can’t do it on your own and you can’t do it being single minded.
“Lots of people are well and truly out of their comfort zone and to see how they respond and talk because of that, and if there are leaders amongst the group, seeing how they step up and take a role trying to lead people is a really good thing.”
With the 2016 grand final victory still fresh in the mind of Burleigh fans, Lenihan said it was important for his team to not spend too much time looking back at what they’ve done and do the hard work required to move forward.
“I think the sooner we forget that we are the premiers of 2016, the better,” he said.
“It’s always going to be there and it’s something we’re super proud of and can build off, but 2015 gave us no positives or negatives going in to 2016.
“It had no bearing on our year this year, and we need to understand that 2017 won’t be a reflection of what happened in 2016, either.
“We don’t want to rest on our laurels and think that just because we’ve had a good year that things will naturally come.
“We’ve got to work hard to make sure we give new guys an opportunity to gel and take a role in the team.”