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Bontempelli’s extra edge

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Despite being one of the game’s brightest young stars, Marcus Bontempelli is not tempted to rest on his laurels.

Instead, the 23-year old is determined to find new and interesting ways to improve.

The Bulldogs’ vice-captain got a head-start on pre-season in America in the off-season, training at the Nike centre in Portland and a college in San Diego.

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“I’ve sort of got a bit of the US bug.  I spent a few weeks over there in the off-season,” Bontempelli told RSN Breakfast on Monday.

“I split my trip up two ways. One was to go away and relax and enjoy a few weeks over there – I came back for a little bit – and then went back over in more of a training module phase.”

Bontempelli spent two weeks with teammate Josh Dunkley and NRL-turned-NFL convert Valentine Holmes, honing in on different strength and conditioning skills.

“People can benefit from different elements of training, so it’s really important that as a group and as a club that we continue to evolve the way we look at training and playing and how we can get the most out of different ways of doing that,” Bontempelli said.

“Our game is so dynamic, and you’re forced to be in a number of positions at different times, at different speeds.  The strength and mobility training that we did over there was really challenging but so rewarding probably in the long run.

“The Bulldogs’ Strength and Conditioning team are really keen to have a look and understand some of the things that we might have focused on while we were away and add what we can to their programs back here, which is great.”

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With players from different codes always looking for that extra edge, Bontempelli said many of his counterparts were prepared to travel overseas for training camps.

“We’ve already started to see some players make the most of the opportunity to get over and explore and train with others,” he said.

“There are huge benefits out of doing that – not only from the perspective of a freshen up when they’re training somewhere different (but also to) explore new ways of training and work with different people.

“To see Val (Valentine Holmes) do some things (was insightful).  Coming from a rugby background – speed and strength and power are things he’s known for.  Seeing it up close was really interesting.”