All-rounder Gareth Andrew hopes to perform for Worcestershire for many more years but thinks it is important for players to prepare for life after cricket.
The 30-year-old engaged in some part-time work for a creative design company in Worcester last winter – a role he is contemplating repeating when cricket commitments at New Road permit and allow.
Andrew's immediate focus is hoping the fracture in his back will soon be close to healing and he will then look to build up and prove his fitness for the 2015 season.
He picked up 20 wickets in the opening four LV = County Championship matches of 2014 and will bolster the squad if he is fit and firing for life back in Division One.
But Andrew recognises the need to prepare for that day all players eventually have to contemplate – hanging up their spikes and carving out a new career.
Andrew, who reported with the rest of the squad for the start of pre-season preparation work at Malvern College today, said: "There is nothing worse than being sat on the side-lines. The last month of the 2013 season when my back went, it was frustrating.
"I was in a bit of a dark place at the end of that year with the injury. You work so hard for something and then you just break down.
"The best thing was to take myself away from cricket, a bit of study and trying to get some work experience.
"It was quite a good thing to step away from the game and then you have a bit more of a drive when you get it back because you are a long time retired.
"I was working for a creative design company down Diglis and they were great and there will maybe be a bit more of that this winter when cricket commitments allow."
As for preparing for life after cricket, Andrew said: -"It's a tough one because we are pretty much full-time from November.
"It's trying to get as much spare time to do the other stuff in without burning yourself out.
"I think we need to do that stuff outside of cricket really. It is part of life. You are going to spend a lot of time retired from cricket.
"It's only a short space of time that you are actually playing. Trying to get that extra experience in the real world is key.
"I've done a few winters when I was training part-time and working in factories and offices. It also makes you appreciate what you have so much more with the cricket."