Confidence growing with fitness: Daniel Nicholson

Daniel Nicholson, one of Melbourne’s most elite runners, says his confidence has grown significantly now that he knows he can push his body in extreme, hot and humid conditions.

The dasher said the confidence was up “rightacross the group” since the club has been in the Northern Territory for its nine day pre-season camp.

“Ultimately, we’ll be looking to go back to Melbourne with the confidence that we can train in these conditions and it’ll be easier,” Nicholson told melbournefc.com.au.

“Performing simple footy skills in conditions up here is a lot harder than in Melbourne, so hopefully all these things will benefit us as a group when we get back to Melbourne.

“The resilience and strength you also build up mentally – and just recognising how much you can push your body has been good. I speak on behalf of a few boys up here who can do that.”

Nicholson said the players were “pushing each other and striving for the same things”, which had bonded the group and not created any niggle.

“I’ve actually been really surprised at how well the boys have got along for such a period of time, because up here, everyone is exhausted from the heat, as it takes it out of you,” he said.

“Even the best of blokes can get a bit angry when they’re tired.

“But everyone has got on really well and we’ve been doing it tough on the army barracks, yet it’s brought everyone together.”

The defender said the opening two training sessions were the toughest, but he felt better when the Demons trained at TIO Stadium on Wednesday.

“It’s been tough. The first couple of sessions were definitely the hardest. The mind is a bit more prepared for it as well, so you know what you’re in for,” Nicholson said.

“It’s more the body acclimatising to it. I think even the coaching staff wasn’t sure what we were in for when we first came up. Some of the sessions have had to be cut a little bit short, because of the risk of heat exhaustion.

“But it’s been good so far and a really good experience.”

Although Nicholson has been thriving in the heat with his training results, he said he never enjoyed the heat when he was growing up.

“When I was younger, the heat was probably my worst enemy,” he said.

“You could pretty much write me off in the hot weather, back in the day.

“As I’ve got older, it’s got better.”

Now entering his third season – and his first on the primary list – Nicholson said he had learned how to manage his pre-seasons.

“The body’s also holding up a lot better than it did in the first two pre-seasons,” he said.

“It’s more noticeable with the little niggles, and it’s just a lot easier from session to session now.

“The body is used to it and you’re prepared and you know what’s coming. Your preparation and training becomes better, and you get into a routine.”

melbournefc.com.au