Cornish reflects on NSW Blues Pathways Camp
Tuesday 4 December 2012 9:00 AM
After mimicking Laurie Daley’s Origin heroics in his backyard in Goulburn, emerging star Mitch Cornish had the exclusive opportunity to be mentored by the former Canberra Raiders great at the recent NSW Blues Origin Pathways camp.
The three day camp commenced last Friday and was hosted by NSW Origin Coach Laurie Daley and his Assistant Matt Parish at the Sydney Academy of Sport at Narrabeen.
“It’s hard to explain just how much it meant to be learning off guys like Laurie,” Cornish reflected.
“I idolised Laurie ever since I began to know what footy was and he was the player that you used to pretend you were in the backyard growing up. It’s hard to believe that here I was being coached by the player that I used to watch on all of the old footy tapes at home growing up.”
Cornish believes that the camp was a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and has taught the talented halfback the required work ethic to achieve his rugby league dreams.
“It was great to get a feel for that Origin culture and it makes you want to be a part of that now,” Cornish enthused. “Obviously Origin is still a long way off, I mean I haven’t even played first grade yet, but being a part of this camp obviously gets you thinking about it.”
“It’s a matter of how badly you want it and how much you’re willing to work for it. I came back to training today with a bit of a spring in my step.”
“One thing I took back to training with the Raiders is having a greater appreciation of the little things that you need to do to become the best player you can be.”
“It doesn’t matter how skilful or how fast you are, in Origin it comes down to the little things like not giving up, pushing through in support and the kick-chase.”
The camp included skills sessions, defensive training, talks with sports psychologists and team building experiences.
“The backs did a high ropes course at Narrabeen Sports Centre for our team building task and the forwards went and did canoeing and sailing.”
“The high ropes course was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done; you look up at it and think that it’s not that high but then you get up there and you just think ‘jeez how am I ever going to do this?’ but with the encouragement of the other boys you get through it.”
“It was pretty flat out over the three days but the adrenalin and the learning experiences kept you going throughout it. I feel really refreshed, motivated and just cannot wait for the season to start now.”
Cornish was joined at the camp by Jack Wighton and both Cornish and Wighton agreed that listening to an impassioned speech from former NSW Captain Benny Elias was definitely one of the highlights.
“The camp was an unreal experience altogether but listening to Benny Elias as a guest speaker was definitely one of the highlights,” said Wighton. “He gave us a background on Origin and told us what it meant for him to represent NSW. I had goose bumps all the way through his speech.”
“Hearing Benny talk was unbelievable,” added Cornish. “He’s just so passionate and he definitely had us all going. Benny gave us the talk early in the night but by the end of it we were that fired up that it made it hard for us to go to bed.”
“After dinner one night we watched games that Laurie and Benny played in and then we finished watching the last series that NSW won in 2005 which really pumped all the boys up.”
Both Cornish and Wighton believed that it was an incredible experience and one that they will never forget.
“We both learnt a lot in the camp and now we can’t wait to get out there for the Raiders and put what we’ve learnt to good use,” said Wighton.