The White Ferns have trained to the point of exhaustion this week, but motivation within the team has never been higher.
Two world cups – Twenty20 and ODI – may well be the driving force behind the positive energy around the squad at the moment and captain Suzie Bates admits she’s been impressed by what she’s seen.
The four day camp from Thursday to Sunday in Lincoln is part of the team’s preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September.
Having last played in March the players have been working individually to keep in shape and Bates says the coaches have had little to grumble about.
“I guess the fitness results are a direct measure of how hard girls are working on their fitness and the results are probably the best I’ve seen as a whole and that proves the work ethics there on the fitness side of things,” Bates commented.
“The skills are looking good, they’re a bit harder to measure until we get to games, but on the work ethic side I can’t complain with what I’ve seen so far.”
Bates optimism is symbolic of the attitude around the team at the moment. After what the skipper described as a “poor summer” there is a determination amongst the group to put things right.
It’s taken a lot of work from Gary Stead and the rest of the coaching staff, but whatever is thought of which can help the team has been done.
It means a trying few days for the players, but Bates is hopeful it will be worth it in the end.
“For the batters it’s just trying to find a way to get our confidence back and whether that’ just through volume of hitting balls or mental preparation. I guess just finding tactical plans,” the White Ferns leader said.
“Bowlers just the same – volume of bowling loads and thinking about the type of conditions they’re going to be bowling in over there.
“It has been really, really specific stuff for each individual to work on, and hopefully it will make sure we’re firing in Sri Lanka. Coming off a tough summer, some big losses and not competing as well as we would have liked, I think it’s really motivated the girls to dig in deep and we’re going to be a lot better for it.
“We’ve got two world cups coming up and there’s no better way to spend the summer than trying to win two world cups.”
It’s a tough ask for any team to try achieve, but there’s little doubt that the dedication the White Ferns are showing at the moment will put them in good stead.
It might be over two months until they actually play their first match, but the build-up started a long time ago.
It will be exciting to see the benefits from their effort they’re currently putting in.