Countering the cold and wet with the Heat

With the Northern Heat region stretching from Moree and Gunnedah in the west to Port Macquarie and Grafton in the east, squad members have always shown plenty of commitment to get to scheduled training sessions, but never more than on Saturday when they had to contend with torrential rain and wet roads just to get there.

For a summer training program it was a shock to the player’s systems to find themselves training in Armidale in 14 degrees and misty rain, but they stuck to the task and completed a quality session where the focus was on ball movement, handballing in congested spaces, and stoppage work.

Heat squad member Ronan Singleton said that the wet weather added an extra layer of challenge to ball movement. “We adapted pretty quickly with how we were moving the ball. Our long kicks weren’t working so we had to shorten them up and run with the ball more and use handballs.”

“From the start of the session we weren’t hitting anything because we were trying to go long, but by the end of it we were all catching balls and improved a lot from the start of the session.”

The squad then moved indoors and were put through their strength and conditioning paces by former Sydney Swans staff member Matt Pine. From this session each player now has both a running and strength based program that they will undertake over the Christmas and new year period. The first session back in January will include fitness testing so that coaches know exactly who has done the work.

Heat athlete Mikey Luxton was impressed with Matt Pine’s session. “The strength and conditioning session was awesome. Matt Pine’s lined up a great program for the whole squad to work on over the holidays to stay in shape and to come back stronger and better as a whole group.”

Fellow squad member Harrison Lee was equally as impressed. “All Matt Pine’s experience in the AFL with the Swans is good, it really helps the boys with the great program he’s made up for us.”

This was the second session for the Northern Heat squad and also included video analysis of individual’s kicking techniques.

Alan Martin, Northern Heat Head Coach, said that the improvement is already evident. “It’s great to see the boys lift another notch. They’re learning, at times you can their brains spinning because of all of the information they’re getting given. Hopefully they come back in January having done their program and are ready and raring to go.”

When they come back together in January there will be two further sessions, then the program will culminate with a match against the Southport Sharks Colts team on the Gold Coast in March.