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High Performance Manager, Melbourne Demons

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“Players coming out of the game knowing that they gave it their all and they left nothing on the field is what I’m pushing towards.”

It’s preseason and Demons High Performance manager Kayne Johns is laser-focused on getting the most out of each player in each session, each week. He’s the boss of fitness, from strength and conditioning, to running and track work and finds that fine line between pushing the players’ boundaries in all aspects of mental and physical high performance while respecting limits so his players survive their season intact.

It’s a tough challenge when his players work such different day jobs, everything from landscapers and bricklayers through to child care workers, accountants and bankers. So players giving him honest feedback about tiredness, soreness and sleep issues are massively vital for Kayne so he can adapt and use that info to individually shape their programs based on what they’re doing during the day.

Ultimately he works to make players fit and strong to play four quarters and not feel tired and fatigued in the final minutes. Players “coming out of the game knowing that they gave it their all and they left nothing on the field is what I’m pushing towards”.

Kayne knows the players will soon have a lot of different situations to deal with as fans of the new league grow and media demands soar. “It’s a new experience for them so it’s basically just managing them and letting them understand they should be themselves and make good choices but also go out there and do what you love doing”.

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