Warriors coach thrives on fear factor
If it is true that the truth hurts then the Warriors' weekly video review sessions are where recently installed coach Andrew McFadden dishes out his toughest punishment.
Players are acutely aware that if there was a blunder on their watch during the previous weekend's game, it will be there for all to see and for McFadden to highlight in super slow motion.
It's as confronting as it is embarrassing but senior players such as Ben Matulino and Nathan Friend are attributing McFadden's brutal honesty with their mid-season resurgence that sees them just one win outside the top eight heading into Sunday's clash with Newcastle at Mt Smart Stadium.
After Matthew Elliott's tenure at the club came to an end after the Round 5 hammering at the hands of the Sharks, his assistant in McFadden was promoted to the top job and after a month in the hot seat was handed the role on a permanent basis until at least the end of the 2017 season.
In the whirly-gig of rugby league coaching it was a somewhat sudden offer but the Warriors' owners and management saw enough in wins against Melbourne and Canberra to lock him in to a long-term deal, and after three wins from their past four games, the players couldn't be happier.
"I just like how honest he is. If you do something wrong he just tells you straight away. He doesn't tell you the easy way, he just tells you straight and hard and I think that's what everyone respects about him," Matulino said.
"'Cappy' (McFadden) is a bit of an old-school coach and is a bit scary. He's a good fella but the boys are a bit scared to do a mistake because they know Cappy is going to come down hard on them in the video session, but that's a positive.
"Video sessions are what the boys don't really look forward to but it's good because it gives you something to work on during the week and if you're not responding to Cappy he'll drop you and he's not scared to drop anyone, so that keeps you on edge."
Only six players have appeared in every game for the Warriors with McFadden regularly displaying no regard for reputations at the selection table.
Ruben Wiki played alongside McFadden at the Raiders for five years between 1997-2001 and now works with him as the Warriors' strength and conditioning coach and says his no-nonsense approach to team standards is getting the best out of the players.
"I've known Cappy a long time and he's making sure the boys are kept on their toes at all times and if you're going to come in late you're going to suffer the consequences... And I always get the consequences!" Wiki said.
"It's not about the punishment, more about that if you want to play in this team you have to do what's right by the team so that's the attitude that he's instilling in the boys.
"No matter how many games they've played, he's keeping them all on notice. It's about doing all those little things that perhaps don't get noticed. He's been hard but fair which is what we want. It's good to have a bit of old-school."
Nathan Friend is one of those six players to have figured in every game this season and sees a lot of similarities in McFadden as one of his former coaches, Melbourne Storm mentor Craig Bellamy.
"He's a student of the game really," said Friend, who had four years under Bellamy between 2003-2006.
"He's taken a lot from the clubs that he's been at, coaching and playing, and he's along the lines of Craig Bellamy where he leaves no stone unturned and he takes a hard-nosed approach to everything we do, especially at training.
"He simplifies it and that's how you get the best out of us, when everyone knows their role."
As for the video sessions the players dread so much, Friend insists it is only through such honesty and accountability that the Warriors can develop into a genuine premiership force.
"That's what breeds effort and success because there's nowhere to hide out there," said the 33-year-old who will play his 50th game for the Warriors on Sunday.
"You can sweep things under the carpet but it gets you nowhere. We all know where we've got to be and videos now, Cappy speaks up and he's honest and that's what you need from a coach. You know that if you've done something on the field you know when the video is on you walk in with your head down and think, I'm in the wrong there. And that's what you need because all of that pressure breeds success.
"It's a pressure cooker out there and it's not an easy game that we play so if we can all do those one per-centers then that's what will get you there.
"He's changed a few things with our training and with his hard-nosed approach at training if we don't do it right we do it again and again. The intensity has gone up a level and that's why you see it transfer onto the field."