Pre-season heat training has come into vogue during the last couple of years, with more and more clubs adopting the training practice as part of their summer conditioning campaigns.
The physical and mental challenges associated with training in the hot and humid conditions on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast have been well documented, but for St Kilda’s Dylan Roberton, being able to work harder whilst feeling fatigued is where the true benefits lie.
“We’ve been training hard for the last couple of weeks down at Seaford, but going to the Sunshine Coast and stepping it up a little bit and just the conditions – the humidity, you can really notice it,” Roberton told RSN.
“You’re doing the same program, but you’re feeling a lot more tired and feeling like you’re putting a lot more hard work in.”
Following the best season of his six-year career in 2015, Roberton knows how important it is to compile a large body of work over the pre-season. After all, it was during last summer where the former Docker laid the foundations for his breakout year.
The 24-year-old produced an ultra-consistent season across half-back, averaging 20.7 possessions and 4.2 rebound 50s in 20 appearances to finish sixth in the Trevor Barker award.
“Yeah it was definitely my best year and it just comes off my best pre-season,” Roberton said.
“I was in rehab for a bit after surgery (last pre-season), but I was able to focus on getting my fitness and strength up and then once I joined the main group it gave me a lot of confidence and I was able to hit the ground running at the start of the season.”
On the back of an encouraging season at the Linen House Centre, Roberton is confident the Saints are marching in the right direction. And the week long camp in southern Queensland has helped plant the seeds for a comprehensive pre-season.
“With the group we’ve got now, especially with all the younger guys and the older guys driving everything, everyone’s on the same page; everyone’s buying into what ‘Richo’ and the team brings and everyone’s on board,” he said.
“The camaraderie on this camp’s been really good, we can’t wait to get back and play some footy.”