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Examples of sportspeople who were average as kids


And Its Smith
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Looking for some help for a kids coaching project I’m involved in. Does anyone know any good examples of sportspeople who weren’t amazing at their sport when they were kids?  Tried googling but getting nowhere and can’t think of any.  Preferably looking for pros who could barely get selected for their club teams when they were in their early teens but I will take any examples!  Not looking for late developers like Ian Wright as I’m sure he was banging the goals in for his under 14s team!   
 

Any help much appreciated 

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1 hour ago, And Its Smith said:

Looking for some help for a kids coaching project I’m involved in. Does anyone know any good examples of sportspeople who weren’t amazing at their sport when they were kids?  Tried googling but getting nowhere and can’t think of any.  Preferably looking for pros who could barely get selected for their club teams when they were in their early teens but I will take any examples!  Not looking for late developers like Ian Wright as I’m sure he was banging the goals in for his under 14s team!   
 

Any help much appreciated 

Gareth Chilcott? Due to his, er,  physical abilities whilst following the City it was suggested he might benefit from joining a rugby club. So he joined Old Red's, and blossomed into an England and British Lions player.

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2 hours ago, And Its Smith said:

Looking for some help for a kids coaching project I’m involved in. Does anyone know any good examples of sportspeople who weren’t amazing at their sport when they were kids?  Tried googling but getting nowhere and can’t think of any.  Preferably looking for pros who could barely get selected for their club teams when they were in their early teens but I will take any examples!  Not looking for late developers like Ian Wright as I’m sure he was banging the goals in for his under 14s team!   
 

Any help much appreciated 

Not sure if it's quite what you're after but Chad 'Ochocinco" Johnson form the NFL. While I think he was talented player, his attitude and getting involved in gang/crime stopped him progressing his younger career as he could have.

 

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9 minutes ago, BS2 Red said:

Ian Wright might be a good example. A good player but was rejected by professional clubs and just played non-league until finally spotted and signed in his 20s.

Was going to say Ian Wright, didn't get into the top tier till he was 29 I think?

Could possibly say same for Vardy?

Bernard Hopkins in boxing maybe? 

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That’s for the suggestions all. The Drogba one is particularly good. Basically the ages of the kids I work with is one where they are going for trials to get into various teams/academies and naturally a fair few will miss out so looking to run a class on looking at sports people who might have been through similar disappointing times but bounced back. 

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2 hours ago, TomF said:

Could possibly say same for Vardy?

 

Someone with more time than me could probably make up a killer list of players who are on the books of big teams as kids, were released, but went on to prove themselves.

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20 hours ago, Red Shadow said:

Gareth Chilcott? Due to his, er,  physical abilities whilst following the City it was suggested he might benefit from joining a rugby club. So he joined Old Red's, and blossomed into an England and British Lions player.

That was the first example I thought of. We played rugby at Ashton Park, but it was very much the second winter game and I don't remember him as a stand out player at all.

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7 minutes ago, Fordy62 said:

Shane Warne mate?

More through poor life choices - making and drinking and the fact he preferred Aussie rules. 

The 2nd one I thought of. A friend of mine kept wicket to him for Knowle 2nds and he was sleeping in the scorebox! He reckoned he was very average in those days.

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1 minute ago, Port Said Red said:

The 2nd one I thought of. A friend of mine kept wicket to him for Knowle 2nds and he was sleeping in the scorebox! He reckoned he was very average in those days.

He’s my hero. Genuinely the best cricketer of all time in my book. 

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2 hours ago, And Its Smith said:

That’s for the suggestions all. The Drogba one is particularly good. Basically the ages of the kids I work with is one where they are going for trials to get into various teams/academies and naturally a fair few will miss out so looking to run a class on looking at sports people who might have been through similar disappointing times but bounced back. 

I found these sites if it helps?

https://sportscroll.com/30-sports-stars-who-peaked-late/

https://www.thesportster.com/entertainment/top-15-late-bloomers-in-sports/

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33 minutes ago, Fordy62 said:

He’s my hero. Genuinely the best cricketer of all time in my book. 

Apparently, I watched him play at Downend many years ago; I am told he both bowled and batted.

I really don’t remember seeing him - and, whilst I am well aware that Downend CC had a very welcoming bar, the two are not connected.

I am also informed that he improved quite a bit in the next few years.

Still on the subject of Shane Warne, I remember him bowling out Mike Gatting - a major cricket event that I watched live on the BBC.

I have met many people over the years who claim to have been there and seen it live 😉, but I genuinely wonder whether, live experience and atmosphere notwithstanding, whether that was any better than watching the endless close up action replays on the BBC, at the close of play as well.

Did they actually have large pitch side screens back then?

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2 hours ago, PHILINFRANCE said:

Apparently, I watched him play at Downend many years ago; I am told he both bowled and batted.

I really don’t remember seeing him - and, whilst I am well aware that Downend CC had a very welcoming bar, the two are not connected.

I am also informed that he improved quite a bit in the next few years.

Still on the subject of Shane Warne, I remember him bowling out Mike Gatting - a major cricket event that I watched live on the BBC.

I have met many people over the years who claim to have been there and seen it live 😉, but I genuinely wonder whether, live experience and atmosphere notwithstanding, whether that was any better than watching the endless close up action replays on the BBC, at the close of play as well.

Did they actually have large pitch side screens back then?

No idea but there's always the song about it...

 

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