Good enough? Old enough!
Does your club advance players an age group if they are good enough?
Are your under 13s and above playing regular weekend adult cricket?
Do players in your squad regularly reach their retirement target batting and/or destroy teams with the ball in junior league games?
If so, then this would strongly suggest they aren't being sufficiently stretched and their talent may be being held back.
At one of our partner clubs this summer we took the decision to promote a player from his age group to the one above based on his ability. We're pleased to say that in the last week he made the Surrey District squad for the first time.
Much of this must go down to the sheer effort and ability of the boy concerned and the excellent back he has had from his parents but we strongly believe that if he hadn't been accelerated this summer, this progress would not have happened.
Many clubs have a strict system of age groups and we think, in a perfect world, that the stronger A team players in an age group should have the opportunity to play in the age group above if they are dominating their age group matches. We don't see this very often at all.
Part of this is down to mental strength and maturity as ability on the pitch and a judgement call needs to be made consulting with parents but where possible we advancement should be given real consideration to help the player's development.
Additionally too few young players aged 13 and above are playing regular adult weekend cricket.
At another of our partner clubs, their Sunday XI has always been made up of at least 50% under 13s to under 16s and, while they don't win every game, it is no coincidence that the older of these players are now playing 1st XI league cricket in their mid-teens.
While we are in the winter phase, why not take a look at who over-performed last season and think about whether they are being sufficiently stretched in their development.