be a [athlete etc.] in the making

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be a [athlete/star/writer etc.] in the making

if someone is an athlete, star, writer etc. in the making, they are likely to develop into that thing This young swimmer is an athlete in the making.
See also: making
References in classic literature ?
They all held their peace except King Alcinous, who began, "Sir, we have had much pleasure in hearing all that you have told us, from which I understand that you are willing to show your prowess, as having been displeased with some insolent remarks that have been made to you by one of our athletes, and which could never have been uttered by any one who knows how to talk with propriety.
In appearance and atmosphere he was a strapping big college man, smooth-faced and easy-mannered, clean and simple and wholesome, with a known record of being a splendid athlete and an implied vast possession of cold culture of the inhibited sort.
No professional athlete would have attempted what you've done.
Professional athletes never move without lanterns and compasses," said Helen.
The man might have been a minor poet instead of an athlete of the first water.
But amid these varied ornaments there were scattered the trophies which brought back strongly to my recollection the fact that Lord John Roxton was one of the great all-round sportsmen and athletes of his day.
He wore a very shiny top hat and a neat suit of sober black, which made him look what he was--a smart young City man, of the class who have been labeled cockneys, but who give us our crack volunteer regiments, and who turn out more fine athletes and sportsmen than any body of men in these islands.
Their eyes at the present moment were brighter than usual, and wore the peculiar expression of pleasure and self-confidence which is seen in the eyes of athletes, for they had been playing tennis, and they were both first-rate at the game.
I had been made love to by beardless sophomores and gray professors, and by the athletes and the football giants.
10) In the earliest times a loin-cloth was worn by athletes, but was discarded after the 14th Olympiad.
It requires a training such as the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life to this object.
And will the habit of body of our ordinary athletes be suited to them?
Do you not observe that these athletes sleep away their lives, and are liable to most dangerous illnesses if they depart, in ever so slight a degree, from their customary regimen?
Then, I said, a finer sort of training will be required for our warrior athletes, who are to be like wakeful dogs, and to see and hear with the utmost keenness; amid the many changes of water and also of food, of summer heat and winter cold, which they will have to endure when on a campaign, they must not be liable to break down in health.
In proscribing them, however, he is not singular; all professional athletes are well aware that a man who is to be in good condition should take nothing of the kind.