Elliot Wilson has revealed the club’s determination to ensure the Worcestershire CCC Academy continues to be successful but also becomes a destination programme producing more players that thrive in international cricket.
They are continually picking the brains and exchanging information with counterparts at other sporting clubs including Liverpool FC and leading rugby union side, Sale Sharks.
A host of young talent has come through the ranks at New Road, most recently, Josh Baker, Jaques Banton, Mitchel Stanley and Jack Haynes.
Worcestershire are starkly aware of the need to continually keep striving to “refresh and evolve” in terms of the information that is taught and presented to the budding stars of the future on the academy and pathway.
Academy Coach Wilson said: “The club has a reputation for producing players which are good enough to play for Worcestershire.
“Over the last six or seven years, we’ve probably got 15 players through the Academy who have progressed into the first team.
“You go back to the Ed Barnard, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Joe Clarke era right through to Josh Baker and Jacques Banton this summer.
“The challenge now we’ve got through a challenging period for all clubs (with COVID-19) is not to just get back to where we were, but to be better in terms of supporting players that not only thrive for Worcestershire but also go on and play for England.
“We want to become a destination Academy for the UK where people come to us and say ‘this is good here.’
“That’s our challenge, to put in place and grow what was already a good programme into a high performing programme.”
Worcestershire are aware of the importance of listening to and exchanging info with Academy staff from other leading clubs.
Wilson said: “We get to go to lot of other sports clubs, go and speak to them, and they will come here and speak to us.
“Prior to the last two years (with Covid-19), we had Sale Sharks rugby academy staff come down for the day and we’ve been up there, done similar with Worcester Warriors and also with Birmingham City FC.
“Just recently, we met with the staff from Charlton Athletic FC and Liverpool FC and we are due to pay a visit to them this side of Christmas.
“It is invaluable and it challenges you to make sure you don’t keep doing the same thing for the sake of doing it.
“It makes you refresh and change plus challenges you to evolve what you teach and present to the players.
“There are some golden threads which never change but there are lots of information there you want to overhaul, refresh, revamp.”
Wilson added: “We believe the biggest area for growth is the mental skills space and we aim to support players so they have a better understanding of who they are and what they are about.
“We believe being comfortable in your own skin is key when transitioning from the academy environment into life or if you are lucky professional sport.
“If you look at a very good 16,17,18, 19 year-old, their skills are pretty good. The challenge is being able to repeat and deliver that on a consistent basis.
“That is not a technical thing, this is a mental skills thing and we are going to spend time in this space, linking more practice and training back to the mental skills space”
“We feel we have the ability to do it really well over the next couple of years.”