The forum has been very useful for me so hopefully my diary of POC is beneficial to those who read it. My first POC didn't go well, I thought I was prepared when I wasn't, I largely feared the whole course, and lacked mental resilience. I VW'd. Pleased to say I passed this time round, after even more training, thorough mental preparation and determination. So I will summarise POC, but I think what is more useful than just a diary entry is to provide recommendations for thorough preparation, so I will write both. Monday: Get your kit laid out the night before, it saves you time. Monday start with breakfast and kit collection, get the best you can in terms of kit, it's all varying in quality and sizing. Quick change then into the run, steady out with a short break and then go for it on the return. Make sure you go for a fast finishing 100m or so to milk the best time you can. Change again and then essays and group planning being split into teams. Answer the question, clear and concise points, be coherent. Try provide accurate info as best you can. Lunch and then fitness tests, go for maximum points, so fight through the pain, it's only an hour in the gym. Presentation, be confident, speak up, make ey contact with the audience, clear pronunciation. Monday ticked off, just one big day ahead now. Tuesday: Get a decent breakfast in. Bottom Field starts at 0800. On the low and high ropes, assault course demonstration, then the meat of the session...the 'extra phys'...which is the best bit. Work hard, stay focussed, don't wrap. It will end a lot faster than you think. Then it's the assault course, fireman's carry and Log PLT. On the PLT take charge and be clear, try not to let people speak over you too much but equally encourage suggestions. The PLT was made trickier by everyone being quite vocal. Lunch. Eat well, drink up, salt your food. Interest presentation, try be humorous, make sure it is interesting and make sure it is about yourself! Be genuine about you and who you are, that's the best bet. EC. Total hang ut this one, and I was not looking forward to it when i saw the hills. You really have to break it down, one hill or 'extra phys' at a time. Get through that and then next task. Try stay as far at the front as possible to grab extra points in the day. Attack everything from the crawls in the streams to the sheep dip to the 'pays to be a winner'. Go for it, leave Woodbury Common with your best effort. It does end, and it's a brilliant feeling when you get a snickers bar, banana and some squash at the end knowing that's one tough old day completed. So rewarding...if you keep going! Wednesday: Swim. Jump in from the 3m board, swim out and back 20m, tread water and then wait to dive for a brick. Fairly simple but make sure to listen to the technique on how to get your rifle and kit out of the water whilst treading, it helps a lot to do it right. Kit return. De-briefs. Not much to say here apart from take the feedback well and use it moving forward. Physical Preparation: Running - use both longer slower runs (8-12km) and some middle distance faster runs (400-800m). This way you develop both aerobic capacity and aerobic power. Essentially endurance and speed. 2-4 runs a week should be plenty, 2 slow and 2 fast, happy days. Start easy and progress to make it harder so you don't overdo it for your body. Carries - try get yourself a partner or a heavy sand bag at the gym, I used an 80kg strongman sand bag to replicate the carries and it helped unbelievably when we did the carries. Drag - use a partner, or push your car (get someone to steer with the handbrake off up a quiet road), or attach a rope round a heavy tyre and practice those drags...they sap the life out of your quads! Bodyweight exercises - it is primarily endurance that is required for these, it's all about how many reps you can get. Gradually add reps. So maybe 3 days per week practice these, try add 2 reps each week as an initial progression. Swim - get under the water, learn to be a little uncomfortable there because the retrieval is 3.5m which is a decent depth, and taking off the kit whilst treading is not straightforward...so get comfortable in and under the water. Mental Preparation: The course requires: focus, resolve, resilience, confidence, self-awareness, logical thinking and calmness. Resolve and resilience - this in part requires some hard physical training with the vital element of finding ways through the pain. For me this included having several sayings that I would have in my head, and as soon as the pain got going, I used those sayings to get through. Such as... If it is endurable, then endure it. (Stoic philosophy). It's only pain...it will subside eventually This pain is what gets me to the end goal This helped massively on POC, and these sayings helped get me to the end of of the VW triangle which was truly honking. Self-awareness - you have to look like you want to be an RM Officer at all times, so practice evaluating your behaviour. Ask yourself, do I look focussed or miserable? Am I speaking to people as an Officer would? Do I look smart or like a mess? Even during a workout ask yourself do I look like what I would expect an Officer to look like. This presentation will help on the course. Logical thinking - emotions will run high in the course, you will probably feel like you cannot do it at points, I know I did. But think logically and not so emotionally, think about how the pain will end, it will all dissolve away, and think about the task. Thinking logically (i.e "okay what do I need to do next" or "let's get through this next 10mins then move") helped loads. Focus and calm - practice deep and smooth breathing. Think about the process of the next task you have and what you need to do. PLT's - think about how you would get a log over the assault course obstacles before you get down to CTC, it's part of thorough preparation. That's all I've thought of to write here. Hopefully this helps someone in some way, any questions fire away... !