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Young players take part in EDP Camp

Michael McDowell  December 20, 2017 5:00 PM

SUNS TV: Shaun Hart Interview Head of Development Shaun Hart shares insight into the Elite Development Program.
"We’re on the same page, we understand the instruction and we go out and we get it done.”

Late last week, Gold Coast’s first to third year players could be found racing around Lennox Head. 

The group was taking part in the annual Elite Development Program (EDP) Camp in the Northern NSW town, with an ‘Amazing Race’ challenge taking place on the second day. 

Split into four teams, the players had a number of tasks and challenges to complete along the way with each team assigned a coach or staff member to accompany them. 

Designed as a fun and competitive challenge, there were other aspects that the coaches wanted to see, in particular the mature heads that take leadership roles within the groups. 

“There’s been 15 or 16 different things that the players have had to get through as a team and it’s been a timed activity, it’s been all around Lennox Head.” Head of Development Shaun Hart told SUNS TV. 

“It’s been interesting to see the dynamics of teams and see the sharing of information, or the lack of sharing of information, and the guys that want to charge ahead and they’ve forgotten that some guys aren’t aware of what we’ve got to do yet,

“So you just see the dynamics of leadership in guys at times at times and you see the growth we may need to inject into the group to make sure they understand that as a team, we don’t leave guys behind. We’re on the same page, we understand the instruction and we go out and we get it done.”

Aside from the physical challenges, players also took part in mindset activities to share the importance of coping with the pressures of being an AFL footballer.

“There’s always a story to everyone’s life and it’s been intriguing and inspiring and there’s even been a few tears at times of guys that just reflect on the most important people in their lives, and just the journey they’ve taken so far and what those people mean to them.

“The power of being able to probably be able to switch off the mind a fair bit and to be able to lose focus of the things that are making us busy so that we can really get focused on the task at hand,

“I think that’s been a really helpful first step in that space to help the guys, because there’s a lot of anxiety that goes with the game, a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of stuff going on outside in life generally outside of footy that doesn’t help a player get to game day in the best shape so both again, building to game day and on game days will be built to be really significant in the players futures.”