Smith: It's all about hard yards
Put in the hard yards - that is the secret for success, two All Blacks told Trentham boot camp's latest recruits.
Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith joined his team's assistant coach, Alama Ieremia, yesterday to share their stories of adversity - on and off the rugby field - with the 80 trainees on the Limited Service Volunteer training camp at Trentham Military Camp, which began on Monday.
Smith talked of his experiences playing rugby in high school as "a little fella".
"From that early stage, I learned about working hard and discipline."
As All Blacks centre he took the same mindset on to the field when he sized up the opposition player he had to mark.
"Most of the guys I've marked are a lot bigger than me, a lot faster than me - they can dart around me - but I always think I'm going to work harder than them."
Ieremia, an All Black from 1994 to 2000, told the recruits he had attended something similar to boot camp before he moved from Samoa to New Zealand.
"It was about really testing me as a person to actually make good decisions in life."
Many of the lessons were still with him today, the most important being the value of hard work. "Nothing in life comes easy without putting the effort in."
Jacob Hauraki, 18, came from Hawera for the camp and planned to join the army after it finished. He said he found the speeches inspirational.
"Hearing that they weren't superstars from the start, that they had to work for it, it makes you feel like you can do it, too," he said.
Limited Service Volunteer camps, funded by the Social Development Ministry, are six-week courses run at Trentham, Hobsonville and Burnham aimed at encouraging young people off the benefit and into work. More than 4000 young New Zealanders have taken part since the scheme was expanded in 2010.
The Dominion Post