Sadly Zak Bess’ time as a Strength & Conditioning intern at Somerset County Cricket Club has come to an end and the 23 year old is off to Australia for the winter.
Reflecting on his 12 months at the club Zak, who graduated from the University of Exeter a couple of years ago, said: “Right from the start my time here at Somerset has been absolutely brilliant. Everyone was so welcoming and that continued all the way through. It’s a shame that it has come to an end.
“With the team coming second in the Specsavers County Championship and everything else that has gone on it’s been an awesome year for me to have been a part of and I don’t think I could have asked for a better time to have been at Somerset. To have been here to experience everything that has gone on throughout the Club, from age groups up to the First XI has been so interesting and just awesome.”
Zak played for Somerset Second XI on a few occasions earlier in his career so had some knowledge of the set up at the Club. “I’ve had some association with Somerset in the past,” he said. “So I knew it was a good place to be a part of. What has happened in my year here has far exceeded my expectations and it’s been just fantastic. The help that I’ve had from everyone at the Club and all the coaching staff especially Darren (Veness) and Jamie (Thorpe) in particular has put me in a good place for the future. I hope!”
What has it been like working with the senior players, some of who Zak has grown up watching on the international arena? “Getting to know people on a personal level has been really brilliant,” he said. “As a Strength & Conditioning Coach, that relationship with the players is very important because it means you can communicate effectively with them and get the best out of one another. I was a bit nervous to begin with but having worked with people like Marcus, I treat him just like anybody else. Everyone has made it very easy for me to come in and work closely with them. Even now when I get a message from Marcus on my phone I still have a little chuckle to myself!”
What has been the most enjoyable aspect of the job for Zak? “I probably wouldn’t be able to choose between two aspects of the job,” he said. “The first is when you put in the time and work with somebody and they feel the benefits and come to thank you for your work. That’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the job and that has been right the way up from the age groups up to the first team. The second part has been the relationships that I have built. Having been here for a year I have found that it’s very important and enjoyable to know somebody on a personal level because it means so much more when they succeed.”
What lies ahead of Zak? “I’m travelling to Adelaide where my cousin Dom is going and currently it looks like we will both be playing for the same club, which will be brilliant. Adam Hose is also out in Adelaide as well so there will be a few of us. I can keep an eye on them and help them with their Strength & Conditioning work. I plan to go out there, play some cricket and continue with my Strength & Conditioning work as much as possible and get as much experience as I can to develop myself. The idea is to come back at the end of their summer and find a job when I get back home.”
Zak added: “It is an exciting time for me because I have been to Australia before to play, and that was in Perth, so it’s brilliant to have the opportunity to go back. To do it alongside the Strength & Conditioning aspect is even more exciting for me.”