Lewis Pierce: St. Kilda’s Boulder Colorado Training Diary – Day 4

It is fair to say I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks.

It was only 10 days ago that I was nervously watching the draft, hoping a club would call my name. That club happened to be the one located down the road from where I live and one of the first things they told me after I was drafted was that I was about to head on a plane to America.

So here I am, an AFL-listed player with the Saints, doing high-altitude training in Boulder, Colorado. I still can’t fully believe it.

The training is pretty intense compared to what I have known. I’m coming from the TAC Cup where there were only three training sessions a week and now I’m training every day.

They’re full sessions and it is pretty fatiguing. The altitude adds to that as well and I can feel that my body is definitely feeling it every morning. I’m doing it well and physically I’m a lot better off.

So while you finish each day feeling pretty exhausted, it’s actually a good feeling because you know the training is having an effect.

The group has been very welcoming to me and I think a trip like this helps fast-track those relationships with my teammates.

I’m rooming with Stephen Milne which has been a good experience. He’s a funny man and our room connects with Lenny Hayes and Jack Steven as well so I’m getting to know a couple of senior boys.

The experienced boys have been great, they’re always there for any questions and anything that can help me along the way and the new draftees as well.

You can go up to anyone here and it’s just a great group and everyone is happy to talk to you.

Having said that, Milney’s not happy with my sleeping patterns at the moment and he gave me a bit of stick about my snoring. I’m finding there’s a good reason he has the nickname Yapper but when we’re one on one he’s actually pretty quiet. He’s a nice bloke and I’m happy to be rooming with him.

Today we did some lung busting exercises in the pool under the guidance of Ironman champion Trevor Hendy.

The idea is that it will help our game in tense situations.

We’re working on our in-game situations where you have the ball and you lose that breath you take and you panic. So we’re trying to use the pool to replicate game style and improve our oxygen intake.

I’ve done it three times now and I’ve improved my personal best each time. We swim up and back and we see if we can improve. It shows how hard I’m working here and hopefully it’s a good way to get respect from the boys that way.

Luckily I’m not the only new guy here and while I’m getting to know the whole group, I’m finding I’m closest to the four guys I was drafted with.

They’re really nice blokes and I’ve known Nath Wright for a couple of years now. He came through the Stingrays with me but Spencer White, Brodie Murdoch and Josh Saunders are all coming through as well and we have a close group that is really bonding a lot. They are a great group of guys.

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