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Did The Bulldogs Go Too Far In Their Training Punishment Methods?

The Saturday Scrum has unpacked the reported methods Cameron Ciraldo and the Bulldogs used to punish an unnamed player who was late to training, with Brent Read questioning whether the punishment was “too far”.

Read said that while the Bulldogs are a club that “needs an overhaul” in terms of their “intestinal fortitude”, the punishment – which saw the player made to ‘knee-wrestle’ every match-fit teammate – was misguided.

“[Cameron Ciraldo is] trying to build some resilience at the club… and it’s a lot harder than I suspect he or anyone else thought it was,” Read said.

“My issue is whether it went too far in this case, I don’t think you get the best out of people by belittling or embarrassing them, and I think that’s what’s happened here.

“[Ciraldo’s] trying to toughen the place up, he’s basically made a point of saying, ‘if you don’t want to come along for the journey, you won’t be here any longer.

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“It feels like this kid’s become, I wouldn’t say a victim of that, but what’s happened to him has become collateral damage… in this footy club.”

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As a member of a current coaching roster – at the Dolphins – Ben Te’o also gave his perspective on the punishment, but stated that he’s more familiar with the method as a training drill.

“I’m a coach at the moment, and I do those drills all the time,” he said.

“When you do these drills, they’re meant to be complemented with encouragement, you want to encourage players, because you’re essentially breaking them down to then try and build them back up.

“But if you’re using that drill as a punishment, if you’re using that drill as a bit of humiliation or embarrassment, I think you’re missing the point there.”

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