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Secret camp: Demons comfort zones tested to the limit

Article image for Secret camp: Demons comfort zones tested to the limit

A secret pre-season camp in Rye could be vital in providing Melbourne with a mental and physical edge in 2016.

The full playing squad headed down to the bay last week to be greeted by former Fitzroy player Brett Stephens, who now runs a training camp called ‘The Winning Formula’.

Stephens and Paul Roos played together at Fitzroy and have stayed in touch as friends ever since.

With no toilet facilities (just a shovel and the earth) along with having to bring their own food for the camp and then the gruelling physical training, it was a major test for each individual.

Stephens, who is a fitness coach, physiologist, mentor and dietician, said the whole aim of the camp is to show the players what they are capable of when the times are tough.

‘We’ve got a simple message; it’s all about taking people out of their comfort zones and giving them an understanding of what it is to give their best effort,’ he told 3AW’s Sports Today.

‘We want you to feel bad, we want you to feel negative and then we want you to embrace that negativity.’

Having worked with many elite athletes all around the world, including Pete Sampras, v8 Supercar drivers, motocross riders and surfers, Stephens has a solid foundation and understanding on how the very best athletes train and perform.

Sleep deprivation was a major aspect of the camp.

‘If you’ve done a hard days training and then you get woken up half an hour after you’ve gone to bed with some match planning questions? And then you’ve got to stay up a little bit later if you get those wrong,’ Stephens said.

‘That’s a good mental test to try and embrace that negativity.’

So how did they go?

‘Unless they really take it on board and want to do it, the camp’s not a success.

‘These guys were fantastic, they really were.’

LISTEN: Brett Stephens tells how he took the Demons out of their comfort zones