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Joel impressed by player's performances

Somerset’s Head of Strength & Conditioning, Joel Tratt has thoroughly enjoyed his first season in the role.

Joel took up the position a year ago and doesn’t feel that it could have gone much better.

“The last 12 months have gone really quickly, but it’s been great,” he said. “We had a really good season on the pitch and the boys did extremely well across all formats of the game. It was great to see so many players kick on and develop. It’s been a busy summer and I’ve learned a huge amount, which I can now take in to the winter in terms of our physical preparation for next year.

“It’s all about what we do out on the pitch, so we’ll take everything we’ve learned and implement it in to what we are going to do now.”

Joel was impressed with how the players responded to what he was trying to achieve.

“I was lucky to inherit a culture where the boys just love to train and get in the gym,” he said. “They always throw themselves in to what we’re doing, and I was impressed with some of the improvements that the guys made during their testings. The most important thing was seeing how what we were doing was working out there on the pitch.

“I was fully aware of the training culture that existed here previously, so it was about taking that and moving it on. There was no point in trying to just replicate it because then we wouldn’t have progressed. It was a case of understanding what was needed next in the guy’s journeys from an athletic stand point and providing them with that. I provide them with what they have to do, but they bring the energy and the work ethic every day and I can’t praise the squad enough. That filters down to the Academy as well and there’s a real culture of hard work and wanting to become a better cricketer and athlete every day here. The players are the ones that drive that, and I couldn’t ask for any more from them.”

There was one element in particular that stood out for Joel in terms of the player’s performances this year, as he explained.

“I was most impressed with the players ability to go from format to format. The way our lads can adjust and go from the rigours of red ball cricket to the dynamism of white ball cricket is superb. Another thing that stood out for me was the quality of our white ball fielding which was right up there, if not the best in the country. It’s easy to have good one-off performances in the field, but it was our consistency in that aspect that impressed me. Our fielding was outstanding all year.

Does the way that the players train reflect the culture of the Club?

“Absolutely,” said Joel. “The work ethic here is unbelievable and that is what we’re all about. If you’re looking for a prime example of that, I can’t look any further than the skipper. Abes is phenomenal in terms of the behaviours he brings day in, day out. His consistency of leadership in his behaviours is what makes him the captain that he is. He trains incredibly hard and he’s incredibly diligent in everything that he does. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in the country who’s better at running between the wickets. All that comes from his attitude which is truly first class.”

What is in store for the players now?

“Now we go again! Everyone’s had a well deserved break after the intensity of the season and we’ve been reviewing what we did, what went well and what we could do better. The boys are back in on November 5th for testing and screening and then winter training commences the following week. That gives us a really good block in the lead up to Christmas which will be hard work and the boys will be seeing a decent amount of me as that work begins again.”

What about the players who will be spending the winter abroad?

“The guys who are going away have been in for a bit of training already,” he said. “The Lions guys will be heading to Loughborough for a training camp before flying out, so they’ve been prepping ahead of that. Jack Leach has also been keeping himself busy ahead of England’s tour to Sri Lanka and it will be awesome to see him out there.

“The lads who are out in Australia and South Africa at the moment are already settled with their clubs and I’ve been in contact with them already about what’s on offer over there and what their training plans look like. We’ve made sure that the communications are in place to ensure that they’ve got everything that they need.

“It’s about making sure that their training schedules are specific to their needs. Technology today makes it really easy to keep in touch with the guys no matter where they are. It’s not about me checking up on them it’s about me being able to expand my availability to help them. They’re all immensely driven, and I’m not worried about any of them slacking off at all!”

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