The Inaugural Melbourne Rebels Junior Academy Camp was held this week at Lake Dewar YMCA Lodge - Myrniong. The Under 16s and Under 18s Academy's attended the 2 day camp as they prepare for the year ahead.
We caught up with Melbourne Rebels Junior Academy Coach Pom Simona to gain an insight as to what the camp was all about.
How was the camp structured?
We purposely structured camp to challenge the players both mentally and physically outside of their comfort zone. Monday was physically demanding where players were split into ‘mini teams’ and put through numerous challenges. We wanted to see how players would react in a different environment and to see who would lead and take their mates along with them. After the physical activities as a team we came up with a ‘Team Canvas’ so we’re aligned in our purpose of being in the academy.
Tuesday was our rugby content day but we also wanted to change the environment so we got them up at 5:30am for video and field session. Again we as staff got a lot from this to see who would bring the right attitude even though they were uncomfortable. It’s no different to a rugby game where they will have periods when the game isn’t going our way and we need players to stand up and have the right attitude.
What was the purpose of the camp?
The main purpose of camp was to bring the Academy group closer. I’m a big believer in teams that are close off the field will work harder for each other on the field. Rugby as a brutal physical sport that asks you to put your body on the line for your mate standing next to you and the more love and care you have for your mate the easier it is to do that time and time again.
How did the boys respond to camp?
Overall I thought they responded really well. Of course some responded better than others when uncomfortable and really showed leadership skills beyond their age. We had some assumptions on most players before camp and they were either confirmed or they changed our minds based on their actions and interactions with each other.
We are definitely a stronger Academy post camp especially in attitude and emotions.