The Gold Coast SUNS leadership group have taken a pro-active approach as the club and players deal with the competition-wide shutdown period due to coronavirus.
The SUNS have six players in the leadership group this year, with co-captains Jarrod Witts and David Swallow supported by Touk Miller, Sam Collins, Alex Sexton and Brayden Fiorini.
As vice-captain, Miller says the group have a responsibility to make sure the players remain engaged with the club while physical contact is at a minimum.
“Our leadership group at the club are spread across the playing group and looking after seven or eight blokes each making sure we can check in and have full coverage across the group,” Miller said.
“I think it’s really important with a lot of younger players in our team that we stay on top of it and help them through anything.
“(That could be) any questions or just small chats here or there to make sure they’re doing alright.
“I think mentally at the moment it’s not too bad but if it becomes more of a long game, it’s going to be super important that we have contact.”
On top of their check-ins with their teammates, Miller said the leaders were also in constant dialogue with Senior Coach Stuart Dew, GM – Football Operations Jon Haines and High Performance Manager Alex Rigby.
“We’ve already had multiple Zoom calls with the rest of the leadership group and Stuey and Jon Haines and Alex Rigby,” he said.
“We’ve all been in communication about what we can do to make sure that we can instil the values that we’ve put together as a club over the past couple of years and also how we can keep everyone engaged.
“I think that’s the most important thing from a motivational point of view, just making sure we keep everyone engaged across the group.
“We’re making sure we’re checking in as a leadership group and with the coaches to make sure we don’t lose touch with that.”
Personally, Miller said he was coping well with the unusual circumstances.
With the beach and his local golf course all within a kilometre of his house, the 24-year-old has plenty to keep him occupied when he’s not training.
He says the hardest part about the whole situation was continuing to train with the uncertainty around when the season would resume.
“In the past you would do an off-season program which is similar to what we’re doing now and you know that you’re coming back November 5 to do a two kilometre time trial,” Miller explained.
“Now we’re training but you’re not really sure when you’re coming back and you‘re not really sure when your training load needs to elevate.
“But the uncertainty is just part and parcel of it and I think everyone’s in the same boat.
“Our high performance staff are doing a great job trying to keep us occupied with different variations of training which I think is the main thing.
“I think for later down the track and in the future there’s probably going to be a lot that comes out of this that we can use from an off-season and pre-season point of view.”