Players Ranking Outside 300 at 20 Years Old
The telling stats that I have chosen point to the fact that 32% of players were ranked outside 300 at 20 which is almost a third. It is clear that the very best players tend to reach the top 100 by the age of 20 or 21, but if you take the 18 players out of the picture who made it under 20, then the average age of reaching the top 100 is very close to 23. I think it is important for Governing Bodies, coaches and parents, whilst not ignoring the stats to help keep realism in a players programme when they are in this process. The long journey of trying to achieve highly in this gladiatorial and complex sport, requires the people around any hard-working and diligent players to remain optimistic and encouraging.
Reward and Confidence
Focusing on the mentality and desire as much as the talent for the task is a key factor in selecting players for any elite programme, although I favour a system of bonuses and rewards for achievement rather than selection. Ranking and tournament bonuses take personal opinion out of the equation and supports players based on what they have achieved. This in turn boosts confidence when a player knows he/she has earned the reward.
I would like to thank Christopher McCormick for all his expertise in putting this excellent infographic together and the Locker Room support team at Westbrook Creative for their continued enthusiasm for promoting the Locker Room Power book, which helps and guides parents and players through so many of the problems associated with mental toughness and learning to compete effectively.