“Don’t get comfortable,” was Dan Coates’ final charge at the Sunday morning conclusion of the Mammoth’s first 2018-19 training camp.
“Coatesy back makes a huge difference,” said head coach Pat Coyle. “It’s sort of like when your dad is around. Guys are going to act different when their dad is there compared to when he’s not. I just really love his intensity. He burns really hot.”
The eight-year veteran’s intensity is a trait much of the team – returning and new faces alike – shared and exhibited during the weekend’s three practices and fitness testing.
“I was really impressed with the overall fitness level", Coyle said. "You can tell a lot of people have done a lot of work. To be honest, there were a couple players who weren’t at the level they should be at and they didn’t do themselves any favors.”
This Friday, players that make a pared-down Mammoth roster will travel to Toronto then to Buffalo for the Mammoth's second training camp, including back-to-back exhibition games against the Rock then the Bandits on Saturday and Sunday.
“Everyone needs to be looking after themselves; preparing for our next practice and our next games with film, strength training, and digesting everything they learned over the weekend,” said general manager Dan Carey.
“This coming weekend, if players are going to be successful in our second training camp, we need to see progression from everything we focused on during our first training camp. Every time we come together we need to get better, and every time the players are on their own, they need to take the time to focus on how they can get better individually. They need to focus on all the little things.”
For the Mammoth, the “big” thing, the ultimate goal, is to win an NLL Championship in the 2018-19 season. However, agreeing with Carey, Coyle stressed that excelling in little things, in individual processes, should be the team’s main focus right now.
“I actually think if we focus on [winning a Championship] all the time, it doesn’t really help us, instead of focusing on little decisions, eating well, sleeping well, living well, and working out.
“I think the biggest thing we can do is to come together as a team. The younger guys especially need to learn, to listen to the older guys, to listen to the coaches and to really buy in to the system we have in place.”
Fans’ first chance to see the Mammoth’s system in action and on their home turf will be on Saturday, Dec. 22. The Mammoth's home opener against the San Diego Seals will also be their second-annual Teddy Bear Toss game, benefiting A Precious Child. Tickets are on sale now at AltitudeTickets.com.