BLUES TURN T O ZEN F OR EDGE

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL - MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

THEY’RE pre­par­ing to be the Zen Blues. For­get the co­conut water, the sleep patches or mind coaches used in re­cent series — the Blues are look­ing to mix things up this time around when they con­verge on Coogee.

Welcome to NSW camp, Brad Fit­tler-style.

The new Blues coach hopes to bring a sense of calm and clar­ity when he takes charge of his first Ori­gin side next week.

Daily yoga ses­sions will be avail­able for the play­ers while the camp will also fea­ture ele­ments of med­i­ta­tion.

Fit­tler is a devo­tee of yoga. He does it al­most daily and it will form part of his per­sonal rou­tine dur­ing Ori­gin prepa­ra­tions. In turn, he will of­fer it up to his Blues charges.

“I do a lit­tle rou­tine every day,” Fit­tler said. “When you look at old peo­ple who are ei­ther bent over or the ones who are stand­ing up, the ones who are stand­ing up al­ways look hap­pier to me.

“It is a good time out. It’s al­ways good to stay lim­ber and be flex­i­ble and the other side of it is breath­ing.

“There is too much in­for­ma­tion about it be­ing good for you to not have it in your life.

“I be­lieve the science of it. The bi­ol­ogy of it. There is also the other side, which is the spir­i­tual side. I like it a lot.

“I don’t know how many blokes (in the Ori­gin squad) do it.

“There will be op­por­tu­ni­ties there for peo­ple to do it.

“It’s amaz­ing how in 10 days how lit­tle time you have. We will def­i­nitely get a ses­sion in.

“Some peo­ple get into it and some peo­ple don’t. I will be do­ing it but I wouldn’t force it.

“It’s a dif­fer­ent ex­er­cise. I won’t push it on any­one.”

Fit­tler has used med­i­ta­tion and play­ers run­ning around bare­foot on the grass — in or­der to “soak up the min­er­als” — in his pre­vi­ous stints as a coach.

He had suc­cess with Le­banon dur­ing the World Cup, when med­i­ta­tion was a con­stant through­out the tour­na­ment.

“We’ll do some sort of med­i­ta­tion,” Fit­tler said.

“It’s one of those things you don’t like to push it on peo­ple. It can be un­com­fort­able but there will be time to have a look at it.”

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