Three weeks of life as a professional cricketer has been an eye-opening experience for emerging New South Wales fast bowler Ryan Hadley.
Hadley starred for Australia's Under 19s in a six-match series against Sri Lanka Under 19s in Hobart in April, before heading to the Bupa National Cricket Centre to join an advance program for the National Performance Squad's (NPS) fast bowlers.
Quick single: Maxwell suffers blow in the nets
The 18-year-old is one of the NPS's youngest members, and will call Brisbane home for the next three months as part of a fast-bowling unit including the likes of Victorian Bushrangers duo Jackson Coleman and Tom O'Donnell, and Queensland Bulls quick Brendan Doggett.
"It's been tough, a pretty intense training schedule, day-in, day-out," Hadley told cricket.com.au.
"There's not a lot of bowling at the moment, it's all movement, yoga, different exercises and running techniques and stuff like that.
"There's been heaps of batting, probably four times a week or so we've got a bat in our hands while we aren't bowling and getting the advantage while we can, while the batsmen aren't here.
"There's a fair bit of conditioning as well; lots of swimming, lots of work on the bike and some work in the Gold Coast on Saturday mornings … water activities, stand-up paddle boarding, hill runs and stair runs.
"It's a mixed bag of things, but you look forward to every day knowing it's going to be something a bit different to the day before."
The hard work isn't something Hadley wants to shy away from – it's what he expected, and what he's tried to embrace.
Hailing from the Blacktown Cricket Club, the tall right-armer is one of a handful of players in the NPS program currently without a state contract, but pushing to earn an opportunity at state level.
Capable of generating speeds in excess of 135 kilometres per hour and standing at just under 200 centimetres, it's easy to draw comparisons to fellow New South Wales product and current Australia star Josh Hazlewood.
And after collecting 10 wickets in his four matches against Sri Lanka Under 19s last month, Hadley has excelled in his own age group, and is determined to take his game to another level.
"Coming into it, I knew that I'd be thrown in the deep end a little bit and it would be a bit of a challenge and something I hadn't experienced before," Hadley said.
"It is challenging, and now I'm starting to get the hang of it and get into the full swing of things, so I'm sure it's only onwards and upwards from here."
The full squad arrives in Brisbane this week, with a five-day boot camp in the Snowy Mountains to kick things off before the cricket side of things gets rolling on June 5.
Quick single: Spots on the line in Aus warm-up matches
Among the arrivals will be South Australia and Australia A gloveman Alex Carey, last year's Matador BBQs One-Day Cup player of the tournament Marnus Labuschagne from Queensland, and 2015-16 Sheffield Shield debutants Ryan Gibson (New South Wales) and Josh Inglis (Western Australia).
"We live and breathe cricket together for a few months, so I don't want to waste my time up here," Hadley said.
"Spending three months with guys who are like you in their cricket aspirations will be really interesting, and I can't wait for it.
"I jumped straight from Hobart essentially (Under-19s tour) up to here and I'm living the life of a professional cricketer at the moment.
"It's interesting and it's a lot of fun, (I'm) learning things about myself and about my game every single day.
"I just want to keep working with all the coaches and the guys up here to hopefully improve my game further, and get a little taste of what it's like to be a professional cricketer before hopefully I step into that."