What does it take to be a Hunter?
To be a hunter you have to be committed to everything we do and be disciplined; there are a lot of sacrifices you have to make along the way in order for you to be a Hunter. Mentally you have to be smart and physically you have to be fit to put on the jumper with the pride of representing the country. If your attitude towards the team is not good and don’t abide by the teams standards and cultures then you do not belong to the Hunters family.
1.What are the main focuses of the Hunters training?
We focus on a lot of things but the main aim is preparing our players to the best of our ability to give them every opportunity to go out and compete against the best players in the competition week in week out.
2.Tell us about their fitness levels and what they have to do to peak.
All our fitness work is done during pre-season from November to January before we play trial games. We measure player’s fitness levels by doing fitness tests at the field and strength and power tests in gym.
3.Do all player positions do the same training or do you separate them?
Fitness sessions are done to fit particular groups of players; injured players that can’t take part in sessions due to lower body injuries are given boxing and battle rope drumming. Upper body injuries are given lower body sessions like cycling, running steps etc.
4.What is the hardest part of their training?
When they come into camp during preseason they are required to do their fitness tests with targets they have to achieve. Then they’re put through a 4 week training plan that includes sessions that start as early as 4AM and finish at 7PM.
5.Do you train them harder when they don’t have upcoming games?
We train them harder once a week or during bye weeks in season. We have other training sessions that we do like wrestling, individual player skills and defence work, team attack and defence.
Positions that kick and catch a lot do kick catching, goal kicking with agility work.
Each player gives a score from 1 – 10 of how their body feels after each session. Our recovery methods are simply 10 minutes ice baths or pool dynamics, massages and foam rolling.
6.Do you have full on fitness sessions at times? What do your hardest training sessions involve?
In order for our players to compete we put them through a lot of work at training whether it be in the gym, on the field, in the pool or roads etc.
There are strongman circuits and rowing (machines) that are very tough and used as a test of mental toughness.
7.How much gym time do the guys get?
Weights are big part of our preseason so we build up the strength of our players; in a week they’ll be doing 8 sessions in preseason, and in season its cut down to 2 sessions a week.
8.Is there a dietician on the coaching team too?
We don’t have a dietician but we monitor everything they eat; their weight, hydration, flexibility and sleep are monitored by our staff daily. A skinfold fat test is done at the end of every week to monitor lean muscle in their body. Players who fail tests are put through extra fitness sessions.
9.Do you have to be aware of weather differences when you travel and make changes to diet, sleep patterns, fitness level etc.?
We are the only team in the competition that travels overseas every second week and we plan our week really well to allow our players to recover after games and travel week in week out. Recovery is our most important thing in season!