AJ Brimson has credited meditation and positive visualisation sessions with Titans welfare officer Peter Smith for assisting his mental strength and confidence in his rookie year in the NRL.
The 20-year-old was a standout at fullback and five-eighth for the Titans in 15 NRL games last year where his maturity and positive mindset under pressure featured.
Brimson and several Titans teammates have done meditation and visualisation sessions, both in a group context and individually, with Smith through an app called 'Smiling Minds'.
"Everyone has their own prep for a game but that always helps me get mentally confident before a game," Brimson told NRL.com.
"We do meditation for about 10 minutes and then five or 10 minutes of visualisation.
"With the visualisation you will listen to the app and [Smith] will say 'breathe in, deep breaths', which gets you calm. Then when you are in the zone he will say something to me like 'there is a big back-rower running at you. You've got to make the tackle and dominate him on his back', so I am picturing myself making the tackle.
"He might say to picture yourself taking the line on and coming out the other side. When you are in that zone you can see it. I definitely think you can see positive results in your game."
Sometimes Brimson said Smith might say something as straightforward as "think about a happy moment that has happened in the last six months or something you are grateful for".
"It is all about having that positive mindset. I am young and I am still learning but I read somewhere that even a physical sport like this is 50% physical and 50% mental," Brimson said.
"I can be better in that [mental] area. I still need to work on backing myself more on the field. Sometimes I am still not loud enough or confident enough."
Brimson is not fazed by the so-called 'second year syndrome' and said he would welcome teams doing more video analysis on him.
"It would be more of a confidence booster if teams are doing video on me. I'd be excited that they are worried about me," he said.
"We did a lot of video on Kalyn Ponga when we versed him but he still had a good game. Teams always do video on people but they still end up doing their thing, so I am more worried about my own game and trying to improve."
Brimson attended the Emerging Origin camp with the Maroons last week where the presence of Johnathan Thurston on the coaching staff also reminded him of the qualities that are needed to get to the top in the NRL.
"Obviously he is a freak but there is no doubt that he got himself to where he is today because of the work he has put in," Brimson said.
"We had a meeting and that is what Kevin Walters was saying about him, and that is why when you got down to the money part of the game he could always take over.
"You look at players like Thurston and Cooper Cronk and everyone says that when training is over they are the ones kicking goals, kicking this and kicking that. Sometimes when it is a hard session you just want to go up and have an ice bath. You've got to do passing and kicking extras but I still have to do more of it."
Brimson underwent shoulder surgery at the end of last season after injuring his left shoulder against the Melbourne Storm in round 24.
He did his first modified wrestling session last week and is getting back into tackling technique drills as he targets being ready to play the March 2 trial against the Brisbane Broncos.
"I am out there training in a pink bib so there is still a bit of contact coming my way. There are no dramas so far," he said.