Talent vs training

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by maggmaster, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    #1
  2. jht32

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  3. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Wow, I love that article, amazing research. I have read the Talent Code and Bounce, etc. and always thought there was something missing. Obviously hard work and smart practice is vital, but lets face it, some kids are just more talented than others and even with less work end up better players.
     
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  4. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Of course some people aquire more skills and competence than others, even though they practiced less hours.

    On the other hand, what research talk about is deliberate practice, learning zone vs comfort zone, high quality practice, practice with best coach, with huge concentration and so forth....
     
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  5. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    The 10000 hour thing and the books it has spawned are interesting. Of course a lot of well designed hard practice is required. But I am running into more coaches who are using it to promise parents and kids that they can make there kids into the next Federer. Its simply to maximize profits.
     
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  6. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    See....if I could just edit I would have changed 'there' to 'their' in my last post!
     
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  7. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Right, 10,000 hours allows you to maximize your potential. You are still constrained by genetics.
     
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  8. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    100% agree. Sadly some coaches are actually referring parents to the books and telling them that any kid can be the best in the world if they only work hard.....and said coach of course knows the exact intelligent practice methods required. There has to be an ethical line between telling someone to work hard towards their dreams and flat out just using it to maximize how much money a coach can get out of them.
     
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  9. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, it happens.
    You should OF spelled something a different way, then you feel like a LOOSER. It's like, right they're in front of you but you can't do anyfing about it. You want to haz the edit button!

    Its the whirl wide innernet so dun worry bout it.

    Oh, and fanks for posting the article and the Syed vid. Great stuff. Inspiring ... I enjoyed the bit about the culture of table tennis on his street.
     
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  10. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Ha, for me the edit button serves an important purpose. I get fired up and type something most certain to get me banned, then can change it to something softer right away!
     
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  11. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, Preview Post could serve that purpose for now.
    Welcome, CoachDad.
    Thanks.
     
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  12. matchplay

    matchplay Rookie

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    and so many parents just don't have or don't use common sense, amazing really
     
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  13. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Those coaches aren't in the business of selling tennis instruction.

    They know enough about marketing and human nature to be hawking dreams.......dressed up in tennis duds

    Too often common sense doesn't stand a chance against dreams
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
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  14. Ash_Smith

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    When you say genetics what do you interpret by that?

    Cheers
     
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  15. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Vision, body composition, height etc
     
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  16. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    My girl has a saying on her wall, "Hard work beats talent only when talent fails to work hard".

    Its so true. A hard worker can blow by a more talented kid....unless the talented kid works just as hard. Then it is what it is, the talent allows that kid to rise to levels the hard worker simply can not.

    I agree with magg's answer to Ash....vision, body composition such as amount of fast twitch fibers in the legs, height, etc. If one kid works as hard as another with similar expert coaching and mental capacity for strategy and motivation, yet one is 5'9" with explosive legs and the other is 4'10" with slow squatty legs.....sorry, the taller explosive kid is going to be the better tennis player.

    If genetics plays no role please alert me when the next 5'2" guy becomes number one in the world.
     
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  17. Ash_Smith

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    So is Genetics "Talent"?
     
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  18. goran_ace

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    Funny example. I played in college with two guys who were about a foot apart in height and they were about the opposite of what you'd expect if you didn't know them. The 5'4" guy was extremely athletic. Fastest guy on the team, beast in the weight room, offensive player. The 6'4" guy wasn't super fast, wasn't smooth with his movement, didn't have big weapons, but worked harder than anyone else to get every ball back and grind down opponents. Both obvously did what they do well enough to play in college.
     
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  19. BMC9670

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    My take on this is that eventually we hit a critical mass - many people with plenty of athleticism, genetics, and work ethic to be at the top. But a few have something special, something we call "it" that puts them over the top. I'm not sure we know what that really is? Talent? Maybe. Plenty of people have talent. But it's something that has them always a notch above. I'm not sure you can develop that.
     
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  20. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    Somebody forgot to tell Olivier Rochus about the whole genetics thing. At 5’4” and 135 lb I don’t think he matches anyone’s ideal tennis player body. He has been in and out of the top 50 for 9 years reaching #24 at one point. He also won the French open in doubles not to mention pocketing $4.5 million dollars in prize money.

    I think you diminish the hard work these people put in when you say it is all genetics. It makes it sound like they dropped out of the womb and were given a free pass. There is nothing more insulting than listening to some coach potato wishing he were as “gifted” as a top, take your pick, tennis player, violinist etc.

    There are many more people with the required genetic profile than there are with the dedication and work ethic required. Many more.
     
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  21. jigglypuff

    jigglypuff Rookie

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    Maybe, but you left the most important one out... speed.
     
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  22. jht32

    jht32 Rookie

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    True, but I don't know anyone who says that is is ALL genetics.
     
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  23. maggmaster

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    Speed is a strange thing. In tennis it does not necessarily refer to sprint speed, although that can be one component of it. Tennis speed is a combination of reaction time, muscle fiber recruitment and positional understanding. In my opinion those things can all be trained, the genetic difference will be in the number of fast twitch type muscle fibers available. I could be wrong.
     
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  24. CoachDad

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    Yup, tennis speed is a unique thing. I see player after player who might not win any 40 sprints but get to ball after ball. Some players just have a knack for getting a head start to the next ball.
     
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  25. CoachDad

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    But I think Rochus proves genetics is huge. At 5'4" he has outworked everyone, has a brilliant tennis mind, keeps his body in amazing shape, does everything possible to maximize his abilities. Yet despite all that he has a losing record overall in singles and never rose above #24.

    In the end no matter what he did he could never, nor could any other may 5'4", be # 1 in the world.

    This proves a base level of genetics is required to be the very best.
     
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  26. Love10s

    Love10s New User

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    I think there's a third element here that people don't talk about much. I'll call it "environment." Does a kid have an environment/culture around him/her that facilitates trying to maximize their athletic potential? That encourages and values this process? That doesn't create additional roadblocks (psychological/emotional or more pragmatic ones, like financial constraints)?

    For example, what if Maria Sharapova had been adopted at birth by your typical nice, upper middle class Manhattan Beach family. She grows up a few miles from where Robert Landsdorp teaches. Her parents have the economic capacity to pay for tennis. She has the same genetics. Does she ever get beyond a few tennis lessons at the park? Does it even occur to her adoptive parents that she has the genetic capacity to be a professional tennis player, let alone #1 in the world? Or does she spend her childhood going to birthday parties and a variety of activities and teams and lessons, then goes to college, etc.? (Not saying there's anything wrong with that path, it's just not a path that leads to pro tennis, regardless of genetics.)

    I think what makes a top athlete is a complicated equation of talent/genetics + hard work/the RIGHT training + an environment that supports and values trying to become a top athlete. (I'm putting intangibles like "heart," "desire," "competitive nature" in with genetics and environment.)

    Many people assume that it's just the amount of genetic talent that is unusual in these top athletes. I disagree. A lot of kids have raw talent. Rather, it's the proper aligning of ALL these planets (talent/training/environment) that is rare.
     
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  27. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    A couple of posters have said some people are claiming that it is "just genetics" or are "diminishing" hard work. I don't read any posts here that way.

    I think the gist of the thread is:

    special genetics/talent (ok and environment) + hard training = good shot to go all the way

    special genetics/talent and environment (SGTE) - hard training = little shot to go all the way

    no SGTE + hard training = very little shot to go all the way

    no SGTE - hard training = no shot to go all the way
     
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  28. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    Bingo. I think there is a small, but good amount of kids who have the talent to play tennis. However, there are so many factors that need to line up perfectly if these kids have a chance at pro tennis, let alone world #1.

    The planets need to align in a certain way.
     
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  29. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    Good point. Ok, how about these questions

    1) Which is more rare, the genetics or dedication/work ethic?
    2) For players that do not make it what is the lager part of the problem genetics or dedication/work ethic?

    My answers are

    1) It if more difficult to find someone who can put in the necessary hard work for the 10 years it takes not make it big.
    2) More kids loose the desire to work than fail due to lack of genetics.


    It is usually some color of gray in real life.
     
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  30. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    That's very accurate.
    Kids can burn with intensity for long periods of time, but ten years?
    Especially when the rebellious, moody, teenage years come with the draw of the opposite sex.
     
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  31. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Yup, as others have said, all the stars have to align...talent, desire, opportunity for expert training, etc.

    As you said, the teenage years are the key. Here a typical kid starts worrying about who likes who at age 8 and then obsesses about school dances, prom dates. I bet you Sampras, Fed, Graf, Sharapova, Williams sisters, and other top players had pretty much zero interaction as far as dating during their teen years. Their focus was tennis, tennis, tennis.
     
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  32. andfor

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  33. BMC9670

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    Don't forget health and luck. One injury can throw off an otherwise perfect path. Part of the "stars aligning".
     
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  34. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    We Americans will never give up our assumptions and perceptions. Dang place was founded and fought for to be that way.
     
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  35. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    ........................
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
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  36. counterpuncher64

    counterpuncher64 New User

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    I don't think, if you expect to be ultra successful at anything, that one or the other is better. You really need both in order to be the next big thing. One can be super talented, but eventually they will lose out to people who are reasonably gifted but also maximize their potential by actually working hard. Similarly, one can work their butts off, but there will be others who are just simply better (i.e. faster learners, better genetics, etc.) and still work as hard that will beat them out eventually.

    In terms of mortal standards, however, where it's unlikely anyone will be world class at anything but good enough to be recognized, I'd pick the person who works hard to be more successful, because most of the people who are so gifted that they can get by without trying will be pushed by their surroundings to maximize their talents, at least in my experience.
     
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