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Daz Veness on Players’ Return to Training

Published: 12th November, 2018

The Kia Oval welcomed the return of the playing staff today, as the County Champions began their winter training programme overseen by Head of Strength and Conditioning, Daz Veness.

Veness, who joined the Club in October 2017 and played a pivotal role in the Club’s Championship victory this summer, talked us through what the players’ winter programme will include as they begin to turn their attention to the 2019 season.

“We’ve delayed the lads return slightly,” explained Veness, who recently spent time in Sri Lanka working with England on their white-ball tour of South Asia. “A standard return in the County Cricket circuit tends to be nearer the first week of November, but for us, our season was right to the end of September and it was an intense block.”

“Those final six weeks,” in which Surrey played six County Championship fixtures, “we went hard, and we went flat out to dominate across the board. We weren’t satisfied with winning the Championship, we wanted to really leave our mark on the season and so when you look at that, combined with how we approached the rest of it, the amount of physical and mental load that comes with that intent is significant, so it’s important that they also get a high degree of physical and mental recovery.” noted Veness.

On what the players will get up to this week, Veness outlined, “we’re not going to have a week of fitness testing in the first week, as realistically all that’s going to give us a batch of data to say that the boys are rested, and maybe a little rusty so to speak. I’m not going to use that data effectively if it’s skewed like that. It makes sense to have a week or two of knocking that rust off a little bit. That said, the boy’s won’t be too far off the mark. Full loading will then start from the 19th November and I’ll collect data as we go. The great thing is, the amount of improvement we got in last year’s winter training means we can really accelerate with lots of other things too to support their on-pitch performances.”

Looking at how he can use the players development from the 2017/18 winter, and use that for the upcoming months, Daz outlined, “If we look at how the players conditioning (or cardiovascular fitness) has progressed between the work Rob Ahmun (Surrey’s former Head of Strength and Conditioning who left at the end of the 2017 season to take up a role with England) and I over the past couple of years, it means whilst that’s still a key area of development, it won’t be quite the focus compared to previously. We can now start to explore other areas more, such as developing explosive power and further improving their running mechanics and movement efficiency.”

“One thing I’ve learned on my journeys up and down the motorway to work is that having a more efficient motor means there’s still plenty in the tank at the end of the journey. We’re using that rationale with the lads. The more efficient they are, they more they have in the tank, be that at the end of the day, the match or the season. This all helps with the massive physical and mental efforts required of them.”

With Surrey players competing in different leagues and tournaments around the world throughout the winter, Veness explained that each player will have a programme specific to them. “If the lads are staying here all winter, then they’ll only be doing skills training if they’ve got something specific to work on, or if there’s any key attributes that they need to develop. Otherwise, our normal structure up until Christmas is very physically biased and structured on strength and conditioning. Skills will begin for the squad in earnest from January.

“That said, we have staged protocols on returning to skills depending on a players’ individual schedule too. For example, Jade Dernbach has already returned to training, throwing and bowling as he is competing in the T10 tournament in the UAE at the end of November, as has Stuart Meaker, who leaves for Australia on Monday.”

“That said, we have staged protocols on returning to skills depending on a players’ individual schedule too. For example, Jade Dernbach has already returned to training, throwing and bowling as he is competing in the T10 tournament in the UAE at the end of November, as has Stuart Meaker, who leaves for Australia on Monday.”

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