Keith Curle on team building at Cassius Camps
First team manager Keith Curle spoke about creating a team mentality as he took the squad to Cassius Camps in the Lake District on Thursday.
“I came here for a visit with Lee Dykes and Lee Fearn and we were all inspired as soon as we met the instructors and saw first hand the facilities they have,” he said. “We know how important something like this is for the mental aspects of the togetherness of the group and it’s good to see it all being put into action.
“They’ve been taken out of their comfort zone and they’ve been tested in what is a fantastic setting. They’ve been very well catered for and Cassius Camps have done exactly what it says on the tin.
“They’re pushing the limits and pushing the boundaries, both mentally and physically, and this is where you get the individual within the collective group start to shine and get their opportunity to show what they’ve got.”
“I’ve said since I came into the club that you can have a squad of players but you need to turn them towards a team mentality,” he added. “That comes from people buying in to the team ethic and wanting to improve themselves in every area.
“The feedback we’ve had from Phil [Ercolana] from Cassius has been excellent, and that was just from the early stages of the morning. He was impressed with how the team presented themselves when they got off the bus and with the level of respect they showed to what they were being asked to do. His instructors then look to work on that and enhance what’s already there.”
“We wanted to take them completely out of their comfort zone and that started with them not knowing why they were getting on a bus so early in the morning,” he explained. “The message was that they didn’t need to be scared of it just because they didn’t know what was happening. We told them to face the challenge with everything they’ve got, enjoy it and embrace it.
“The Cassius team asked me to take a step back and observe because you do see completely different things in situations like this. It’s nice to do that and see the group motivate itself, and the pleasing thing is to see everyone buy into what they are being told. If you don’t have that you know you’re in for a long season. The really good thing is that I can see we have something building here.”
On where the training camp fits in to the pre-season package overall, he said: “The pre-season schedule was changed on purpose and we’ve done things a lot of clubs wouldn’t have done.
“We came back earlier than the majority because we knew we had a large group of players coming together for the first time. We were able to get our message across as to the mindset needed going forward, and we also added a small break in there, to give them a bit of an incentive to work even harder.
“Things like this day with Cassius are a test of a completely different kind and there’ll be another one, again different to this, to help us to create the level of unity we want to achieve.”
“We’ll start to see things fine tune on the pitch as we go on from here,” he told us. “Technically and tactically it’s what we’re about now. We’ve done the conditioning work and we’re happy with where the players are.
“Now we need to test ourselves and the three games we now face will do that for us. They’ll ask us questions and we’ll see whether or not we have the answers, because a lot of those questions will be the same ones we’ll face once we get into the season.”
And on looking ahead to the first game of the season, he said: “I’d play the game against Mansfield tomorrow if I could.
“If the kick off for this coming season was this Saturday then I can tell you I’m ready.”
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