Gary Heatly talks to the men’s S&C coach as the team return to training.
Nick Karamouzis, the men’s Strength & Conditioning Coach with Cricket Scotland, has been in post for 15 months and is now looking forward to working with the players more regularly face-to-face rather than via a screen.
The squad started a six week block of training on Tuesday and, as well as Head Coach Shane Burger and Assistant Coach Craig Wright, Nick is one of the other members of staff very happy to have them back together as a group.
Welshman Nick started working with Cricket Scotland in January 2020, so he had around two months of face-to-face working with everyone before Covid hit and the first lockdown came.
“We had just come back from a positive training camp in La Manga, Spain, and we were gearing up for a busy period of matches when we got the news about the pandemic last March,” he explains.
“The first lockdown was new to us all of course, so during that time I started to remotely manage the players and their S & C programmes and then we managed to come back last summer for a bit of face-to-face training.
“When restrictions came in again we realised that we would have to start working together remotely once more, it was not ideal, but it just had to be done.
“The boys have worked hard, the period since Christmas has been quite difficult because everyone has been champing at the bit to get back to normal.
“They have had to stay focused and keep an eye on the bigger picture and they have been working hard on their own to create an edge for themselves and make gains in certain areas for when competitive cricket does return.
“We also got to know each other well as people via a screen and I now know some of the drivers that make individual players in the group, so now I am looking forward to really building on that over the next six weeks and beyond.
“Physical preparation is key for cricketers and I want the boys to be in the best shape they can be when matches come around.”
Nick has spent time during the last year with his parents in Wales and also with his partner in Southampton.
The former Teesside University student, whose surname comes from his Greek grandfather, has spent a large chunk of his professional life to date working at Hampshire County Cricket Club where he had worked his way up to Head of Strength & Conditioning before he decided to make the move north.
“I always wanted to work with an international team if the chance came up, so it is great to be part of things with Cricket Scotland ahead of what could be a very busy second part of 2021,” Nick, who is now living in Edinburgh, states.
“We have the contracted players who I work with, but I also help guys in the wider squad and players that Shane wants to take a look at with S & C programmes and it is important to note, especially in this type of environment, that each individual has different needs and requirements.
“These needs can vary depending on age, what type of player you are, how much time you have to dedicate to S & C if you have other work commitments outside of cricket and many other variants.
“My job is to make sure that each individual has a programme and processes that works well for them and is accentuating their strengths so that when they go out to bat, are bowling or are fielding in a competitive fixture they feel as good as they can and they can then carry out their job for the team as a result.”
And as well as spending time with the elite male cricketers in Scotland in the coming months, Nick is also looking forward to meeting other members of the Scottish cricket community.
“It will be great to see folk around the boundary later in the summer watching cricket in Scotland,” Nick said.
“I will also be able to thank a few Scots for the rugby team helping Wales to win the Six Nations back in March too!”