Cowboys Embrace Military Tactics in Pre-Season Training
In preparation for the 2024 NRL season, the North Queensland Cowboys recently completed a distinctive leadership and team-building camp at the Lavarack Barracks in Townsville. This unique training, guided by the Combat Training Centre and 3rd Brigade, aimed to instil key characteristics necessary for high-level performance in the team.
Under the leadership of their new co-captains, the Cowboys engaged in activities designed to enhance team cohesion, adaptability, and resilience. These included challenging exercises like a rope-shuffle run, pool survival scenarios, and simulated indoor combat drills under sensory deprivation conditions.
The camp emphasised the importance of effective leadership and decision-making under pressure. Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Matt Lines noted a significant shift in the team’s dynamics, with players increasingly relying on their leaders’ guidance and instructions.
Co-captain Reuben Cotter highlighted the crucial role of communication, especially during tasks with limited visibility and hearing, like the indoor combat drill. He emphasised the necessity of clear, concise communication and teamwork to accomplish set objectives.
Head coach Todd Payten drew parallels between the demands of elite sports and the Defence Force, stressing the need for teamwork and selflessness. He praised the players’ response to the high-pressure situations, especially the leaders who took charge with confidence and clarity.
This unconventional training approach is part of the Cowboys’ strategy to build a robust, cohesive team capable of excelling in the upcoming NRL season.