Ask Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire why pre-season is important, and he’ll give you five reasons to begin with.
The Club’s 2016 campaign officially kicked-off this week, with players from first grade and the NYC (under 20s) squads returning to the training paddock in preparation for the new-year.
During the course of proceedings, Maguire took time out to speak to Rabbitohs.com.au about the many opportunities that the pre-season period offers the team and individuals, as they collectively go in search of improvement and cohesion.
Click here to check out all the action from day one of pre-season training.
In his own words, here are Michael Maguire’s Five Reasons Why Pre-season Matters.
It sets the standard
This includes everything from how we live, to how we go about our training. As a playing group and an individual, you get to set standards during the pre-season, and the higher those are continually set, the more improved we become as a team. They’re the things you set out to do right from day one both on and off the field.
It lays the platform for the year ahead
Pre-season is an opportunity for growth in players in all aspects – strength, fitness, mental attitude, skill levels – all the many different characteristics that make up a player. The pre-season allows you to work on those individual needs and requirements that you’re going to need during a season but also in life. The way you perform in the pre-season tends to play its part later on, so setting the platform early for not only the team, but for the individual, is important at this time of year.
It builds character
You definitely find out about each other when you’re going through a pre-season. Whether its players or staff, you find out a lot about how everybody reacts under different situations. How you respond, whether it’s to adversity, success or pressure – it tends to build the character of the individual as well as the team and we become closer as a result.
It improves strength and fitness
There’s always something to work on when it comes to your body – it’s the tool that allows you to get out on the field, so developing it is key. From the younger guys, right through to the more senior players, everyone can have some form of improvement, whether it’s the younger boys building their bodies, or the senior players setting higher standards for themselves physically. Pre-season is an opportunity to do all of that.
It’s certainly a chance for everyone to connect or re-connect with their brothers in the team. I think there’s a lot of enjoyment that you can get out of going through a pre-season – whether it’s finding out about each other, enduring and excelling in the hard work that’s required both physically and mentally, or pushing your teammates to help them to realise their potential. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.