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A trip to the beach - But not as we know it

Posted: 14-Mar-2017 by Maccabi VIC

Last weekend 48 players plus coaching staff and committee ventured off to Torquay for a football camp. Not only was fitness high on the agenda but team bonding and developing leadership were important as well.

The group was divided into 6 groups, leaders elected and colours distributed. It was going to be a contest with money on the line. Players began on the Friday with a 3km time trial. Following tea, groups were divided into their lines , midfield, back and forward, and team goals and KPI’s were discussed and agreed upon. The night concluded with highly competitive games of darts, hookey, quoits and handball.

6AM came around early and the real work began. This was a rotation of 6 stations including boxing, medicine ball, weights with bricks and carrying logs, all in a highly spirited team environment. Most found it difficult to eat breakfast following these difficult rotations and were happy to sit and contribute to the game style presentation which included video and whiteboard.


The leaders now stepped up as they were challenged to run events for all the other groups. Coaches noted their presentation, preparation and ability to communicate and give feedback. I was delighted with how they led and with how they responded to their leadership. Although it was easy to observe that cheating was going with individual teams pushing the envelope.

Lunch was sandwiches and I had my first introduction to the famous Reuben’s sandwich. What’s with the pickles and mustard?

Following lunch we trained for 2 hrs on the local oval trying to deliver on the game style that we’d been working on. Following this it was brilliant to see the leaders take the group for beach recovery down amongst the local beauties.

The afternoon session included traditional sports; volleyball, cricket, soccer and basketball, all with points and winners attached. Competition was fierce and it was great to see the competitive spirit after such a long day.

Following tea and individual goal setting, players were at their best. With pre warning, each group had to deliver an ‘Abba’ or ‘One Direction’ song. Extra points were awarded for dress, singing ability, innovation and dance moves. This was a fun time with lots of laughs.

6AM Sunday morning when the alarms went off, there seemed to be a lot of lethargic players around with even a few leaders having to run back to the rooms and kick some players out of bed. After a small rev up, loud and to the point, players seemed to be recharged. Their most inventive activities lay ahead. Who would have thought that players would be pulling a tractor in the time trial and moving as palate of 300 bricks 50 metres in a race against each other just for fun. 


But the piece de resistance was when they saw 24 massive 2x1.5metre hay bales in an open field that needed to be pushed 50 metres. The power and effort required for the task meant that great teamwork was  needed, but the smiles on their faces and the hooting at the finish was something I’ll always remember. They climbed the hay bales as if they were at the top of Mount Everest.

Though mentally Sunday morning seemed as though training would be a waste of time; when a group gets together and decides to lift their energy level and standard, it’s amazing what can be achieved. 
When down at Quarter time, we can draw on this experience to run over them in the second half.

Peter Kagan, the accountant amongst us and chief scorer, read the results initially awarding the grand prize to LaLaLand (good one Peter – very funny). Orange team won – well done to Asher Burstyn and Brent Shapiro – The Might Sauce

After packing up, the afternoon was a quiet trip home passing the airshow and all the thrills on the way.  Typically the end of a camp highlights what’s next on the agenda – trial games.

Can’t wait – See you then


Mark Williams

Maccabi Victoria Director of Coaching and Player Development and Senior Coach of the AJAX Amateur Football club

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