Roger Tuivasa-Sheck never stands still.

The Warriors' captain has reached the peak of the NRL, universally acknowledged as one of the best in the sport, but says it is essential to 'recreate yourself' every year to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

It's that determination to constantly look for improvements that inspired his recent 'study' trip to the United States, where he spent time at Duke University and the Brooklyn Nets, as well as mixing with the top coaches and trainers at the IMG Academy in Florida.

"Someone close to me once said you have to recreate yourself every year and that's what I try to do, come out here and try and be better," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "I try not to go off what I did last year. There are always some ways that I can be better and that is the whole reason why I went away, and I'm back out here trying to improve for the team."


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Tuivasa-Sheck says the trip, which was arranged through the club after owner Mark Robinson and chief executive Cameron George visited Duke and the NBA franchise late last year, was for his "personal development".

"[There were] a lot of little things that I picked up," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "[I'm] trying to put the pieces together, still working on it, bring it to the team, bring it to my game. We will see how we go, see if it all worked.

"There was a bit of leadership stuff throughout the time I was there, a few courses that I applied to and went to, pretty much the whole trip was about getting better and trying to self develop. I went over for [some] self awareness of how they look after their bodies, what they eat, how they sleep."

Having the club skipper away for a fortnight less than two months before the start of the NRL season might raise some eyebrows, but not in this case.

Tuivasa-Sheck was a beacon of hope throughout a mostly dismal 2019 season, maintaining his high standards while many around him faltered.

He was in the conversation for a second Dally M award, eventually polling fifth, and the recipient of the Golden Boot award, recognising his outstanding international form for the Kiwis.

While Tuivasa-Sheck is naturally upbeat, he's positive about the pre-season campaign so far.


He said last week's camp in Mt Manganui was productive on several fronts, especially in laying down expectations, and he's been impressed with the conditioning levels exhibited by the team.

The 26-year-old is also hopeful that the fresh approach by new head trainer Craig Twentyman, who replaced Alex Corvo, will pay dividends.

"He changed a lot with a lot of different things," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "[More on] speed, skill, we are going a different way from what we did last year to see if it works for us come game day."

"We have attacked the game awareness, game scenario type trainings early on [in pre season]. Execution, pass under fatigue all small things that we were doing later last year.

"Hopefully that will help us going into games because that is what we were missing last year, big moments, and that is what we have been working on."

Tuivasa-Sheck is also pushing for more individual responsibility, breaking a pattern of always looking for leadership from outside factors.

"[It's about] having more care, bringing more care to the jersey," said Tuivasa-Sheck. "As an individual, having care for your own personal growth and development and when you do that, the team will involve itself.

"Going out there and make sure you look after yourself before the team and all of the rewards will come off the back of that."