Adam Rouse: Personal training qualification has allowed me to play with more freedom
Kent wicketkeeper Adam Rouse says becoming a personal trainer has given him a plan B and allowed him to play cricket with greater freedom.
Rouse, 24, has helped Kent win all three of their County Championship games this season, scoring 95 not out in their crushing win over Derbyshire.
However, he says he nearly quit the game two years ago after being released by Hampshire and Gloucestershire.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about other options," he said.
With England international Sam Billings playing for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, Rouse has been behind the stumps for all of Kent's Division Two wins this campaign.
It's an opportunity he's grabbed with both hands, with his unbeaten 95 against Derbyshire a career-best first-class score, while his wicketkeeping has helped Kent take the maximum 60 wickets and make a flying start to their campaign.
But it has been far from a straightforward route to the first team for Rouse, who has had to fight for his place every step of the way.
'It's been a rollercoaster'
The Zimbabwe-born keeper was let go by Hampshire and Gloucestershire before a temporary spell as cover at Kent turned into a two-year contract following Ryan Davies' move to Somerset in January 2016.
"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster - it's been quite tough to be honest. With the nature of being a keeper you're vying for one or two spots," he told BBC Radio Kent.
"Once I got released [by Gloucestershire] I qualified as a personal trainer, which kind of eased everything. It allowed me to have that sort of plan B, to concentrate on cricket for a bit.
"It was only a late call with Ryan [Davies] going to Somerset, but it's gone pretty well. Me having that personal training qualification and a little bit of something else behind me allows me to relax a bit.
"I've realised I do have a plan B. I can play with a bit more freedom, which is nice."