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Joel impressed by pre-season preparations

Somerset’s new Head of Strength & Conditioning, Joel Tratt has spent his first winter putting the players through their paces in preparation for the start of the new season.

We caught up with him this week to ask him how he thinks his first pre-season programme has gone.

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “The lads have been incredible and deserve a huge amount of credit for the amount of work that they’ve put in over the winter. I really couldn’t have asked for any more and I’m delighted by what we’ve been able to achieve. We set each individual a number of targets during the winter and everyone has bought in to what we’re trying to do, and we’ve seen some really positive results.

“They’ve been working so hard all winter. The lads come in everyday and give it their all and I can wait to see what we’ve been working on all winter transfer itself out on to the pitch.”

Has the recent poor weather hampered the Club’s preparations?

“The snow was a bit of a logistical nightmare,” said Joel. “It’s meant that we haven’t really been able to get them out running on the grass and it’s limited the amount of things that we’ve been able to do. However, we’ve been able to come up with some excellent contingency plans and I’m really happy with where they are at the moment.”

A number of the players have been playing abroad over the course of the winter. How easy has it been to get his message across to those who have been overseas?

“Communication is the key word,” he said. “It’s about constantly communicating with everyone, no matter where they are. They all know their bodies well and what they need to be doing in and around game-time.

“When it comes to those who’ve been away, it’s about understanding exactly what that tour looks like for the individuals. We’ll look at how intense it is going to be, how much traveling is involved and things like that. It’s also really important to communicate with the people who are with them too, so if they’re with the ECB or a national team we will be in constant communication with those coaches. Communication technology is so effective now that it’s so easy to stay in touch with people, even if they’re on the other side of the world.”

Now that the new season is just around the corner does Strength & Conditioning take a back seat?

“Even though the players have been able to get out in the marquee and crack on with the cricket, S&C work doesn’t stop,” he said. “It’s still very much an important part of what the players are doing, but it’s now more about supporting the skills work rather than being their sole focus.

“At this stage S&C programmes are very much tailored to each individual and their particular needs. We’ll keep training, but volumes will be condensed slightly and the sessions themselves will be slightly different. The mobility and recovery work will obviously still play an important role.

“Essentially, it’s about supporting the players the best way that we can to ensure that they perform to the maximum of their ability.”

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