In order to perform at the highest level, players have to spend many hours in deliberate, purposeful practice with the specific intention of improving performance. Although practice on its own does not guarantee success, there is no substitute for earnest endeavour in the pursuit of excellence. Some players may be more genetically predisposed to benefit from practice effects, but no players have reached the elite level without a significant commitment to the process of refining and developing their soccer skills. Ward and co-workers (2004) showed that those who are recruited by Premier League Academies in England at 16 years of age typically started playing the game at 6 years of age and over the next 10 years devoted an average of 15 hours per week, 700 hours per year (over 7,000 hours in total) to practice activities related to soccer. It is likely that at least 10,000 hours of practice are required before these players are ready for their debut in the first team. The academy players also considered practice, along with the motivation to succeed, to be the most important factors in becoming an elite player, whereas, in contrast, less skilled players considered skill and teamwork to be the key factors underpinning success.