Champions are born not made. Discuss.

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/43486837

I was reading the story of how Ray Wood is trying to turn his 9 year old Livinnia and 3 year old daughter Paloma into the next Williams sisters. Martina Navratilova says in the above article:

And I really totally disagree with the idea that champions are made not born. Champions are born, and then they have to have the right environment to be made.
To what extent do you think the above statement is true? Can Champions be manufactured or are they born?
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/43486837

I was reading the story of how Ray Wood is trying to turn his 9 year old Livinnia and 3 year old daughter Paloma into the next Williams sisters. Martina Navratilova says in the above article:



To what extent do you think the above statement is true? Can Champions be manufactured or are they born?
You need both. It's a mixture.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
"And I really totally disagree with the idea that champions are made not born. Champions are born, and then they have to have the right environment to be made."

This quote is at best muddy or at worst self-contradictory.

If, as she says, champions need to have the right environment, then they are not merely born.

The fact that no one becomes an elite tennis player without somewhere in the tens of thousand hours of high-quality, deliberate practice starting in childhood is enough to show that it is to a large extent made. No one just walks into playing top level tennis, no matter what they are 'born with.'

But do you need massive amounts of natural talent as well to truly become a champion? Obviously. But in any highly complex field (chess, fundamental physics, music composition), talent is to a much larger extent 'made' compared to very simple activities such as sprinting or jumping. For a sport, tennis is highly complex, depends a lot on cognitive faculties, which is why the amount of deliberate practice required to reach the top is much higher than in sprinting.
 
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Fedal were created in a secret laboratory deep in the Spain/Swiss border in an alternative Earth. Not to mention they were made to be born twin Goats or born to be made perhaps. Either way, they are both going to be watching the Americans final season on FX tonight with their Top Shelf Manhatthans and 36 grand slam trophies shining in the Santa Fe sun with George Martin at Meow Wolf.
 

Tshooter

Legend
Tennis champions = talent + opportunity + money
+ drive + work + luck

and, for French players, + style + flair.

Except for the Americans and the Ruskies who each have a factory. The Ruskies cranking out the same model player since Chesnokov. And the Americans invested heavily in a new factory about 15 years ago that ran out of money before the BH assembly line could be finished.
 

FudgeMyn

Professional
too many factors go into becoming a champion. genetics is probably the only thing that makes the born part true. everything else is in the air. for all, we know the next Federer was born in a third-world country and was accidentally killed due to his environment.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
The poster child for the idea of the natural born talent is Mozart. By the age of 6 he had logged in the ballpark of 3,500 practice hours, way beyond any of his peers. No wonder they thought he was a genius.
 
There's obviously an element of being genetically compatible with a certain skill or ability, but the notion that it's entirely genetic is silly.

If that were the case, why are the sons/daughters of great champions not champions too? It's because nurture is more important.
 

Tshooter

Legend
There's obviously an element of being genetically compatible with a certain skill or ability, but the notion that it's entirely genetic is silly.

If that were the case, why are the sons/daughters of great champions not champions too? It's because nurture is more important.
Or because it wasn't passed down. :confused: Not that I'm suggesting what portion is nature v. nurture. Just your premise that athletic prowess is always passed down in some perfect 1:1 process or at all.
 
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Jonas78

Legend
The idea that everyone can be whatever they want If they put In the hours is an illusion made by authors of self-help books.

Does anyone really believe Messi is the best football-player In the world or that Bolt is the fastest because they practised the most? Come on!

You have to put In the hours, but Messi's, Bolt's, Nadal's and Fed's are born with very special skills.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Talent is important but its a small part of it.

Safin and haas were extremely talented and yet underachieved alot.

There were probably hundrets of federer like talents born already..

Some maybe never even started tennis till they were adults.

Some maybe started and choose another sport instead.

Some maybe got an injury that killed off their tennis career so they rather focused on school and job.

Some maybe didnt have the work ethic and too lazy.

Some didnt have luck their coaches or parents told them they would never make it and they quit (remember federers coach when he was young told him he would never make it)

Etc...
 

EloQuent

G.O.A.T.
Best case study is Andre Agassi. His father forced him into it from a young age and molded him into a top player. But Mike did it to all his kids and only Andre became a star.

You need talent. And it has to be cultivated.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
There's actually a theory that a lot of his child genius stuff was written by his dad
Yes, his earliest compositions were written down by his father, which does create suspicion. They are also largely just rearrangements of others' works.

He did perform to much acclaim from an early age, though, so by most accounts he was still decently skilled, hehe.
 

sportmac

Hall of Fame
The idea that everyone can be whatever they want If they put In the hours is an illusion made by authors of self-help books.

Does anyone really believe Messi is the best football-player In the world or that Bolt is the fastest because they practised the most? Come on!

You have to put In the hours, but Messi's, Bolt's, Nadal's and Fed's are born with very special skills.
Like that saying you can't teach speed. You're either fast or you ain't.

You can teach technique to help someone approach their maximum speed but you can't take someone who runs a 12 second 100m and teach him to beat Bolt's 9.58.

Training and coaching can get you near your absolute maximum but if you're born with an absolute maximum of 12 seconds nothing is going to change that.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
I think Djoker was always going to be a great player - but the challenge of Fedal made him go to another level in 2011. I don't know if he would have been the absolute dominating beast that he was without that challenge. So yes, he was born a champion but he also made himself into an even greater one.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
The poster child for the idea of the natural born talent is Mozart. By the age of 6 he had logged in the ballpark of 3,500 practice hours, way beyond any of his peers. No wonder they thought he was a genius.
If you had logged 3,500 hours of practice by age 6, would you have been Mozart?
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Disagree. There are inherent traits, but a winning process and mentality is developed and taught.


Probably posting from the court between sets.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Hate what that guy is doing to his kids, its child abuse.
Was it child abuse when Serena and Venus’ dad did it? Federer’s parents? Toni Nadal? Or any other icon in any other endeavor?

Or is it only child abuse if they don’t turn out amazingly successful?

Or is it child abuse if you don’t foster the development of your child?
 
The idea that everyone can be whatever they want If they put In the hours is an illusion made by authors of self-help books.

Does anyone really believe Messi is the best football-player In the world or that Bolt is the fastest because they practised the most? Come on!

You have to put In the hours, but Messi's, Bolt's, Nadal's and Fed's are born with very special skills.
Well Messi was pumped full of HGH...
 

Jonas78

Legend
Success doesn't come from what God has given you. Success comes from what you do with the ability God has given you.
Sure. But that doesnt mean Bolt could have become the worlds best chess player, or that Magnus Carlsen could run 100m at 9.58 If he just practiced enough.
 
I know this topic is essentially about nature vs nurture but Fed himself is an excellent counterpoint to the notion that champions are born. Had he continued on his 01/02 track, he would not have become the great champion he is today. He had to toughen up and channel his talent. That is, even if you are very talented, that doesn't guarantee you will become a champion player.
 
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Deleted member 756486

Guest
Was it child abuse when Serena and Venus’ dad did it? Federer’s parents? Toni Nadal? Or any other icon in any other endeavor?

Or is it only child abuse if they don’t turn out amazingly successful?

Or is it child abuse if you don’t foster the development of your child?
I’m not sure about Federer's parents but Toni definitely exploited Rafa for his own benefit.
 

Jonas78

Legend
I doubt he would have been as good had he been 5 feet or less like nature intended.
Whats your point? That Messi should be banned from all sports for the rest of his life because he was treated with HGH when he was 11y? He was diagnosed with a lack of a certain hormone which he got treated for. He is still not a giant, and If big mucles was important In football they would all look like bodybuilders.
 
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Deleted member 756486

Guest
Those were against other kids of the same height.
To quote the Bleacher Report article:
"Without the use of the controversial medical treatment, we may not have seen this incredible athlete on the pitch."
Also to quote the Bleacher Report article:
“Messi is now 5’7 which is the normal and average height of an Argentinian”
He’s always been a phenomenal footballer and it shows that when he plays in a level playing field he will thrive.

Sorry but those clips of Messi as a child prove that his talent doesn’t come from drugs.
 
Whats your point? That Messi should be banned from all sports for the rest of his life because he was treated with HGH when he was 11y? He was diagnosed with a lack of a certain hormone which he got treated for. He is still not a giant, and If big mucles was important In football they would all look like bodybuilders.
No, he shouldn't. But he wouldn't be the best example of a born champion when he was partly helped to become one.
 
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Deleted member 756486

Guest
Whats your point? That Messi should be banned from all sports for the rest of his life because he was treated with HGH when he was 11y? He was diagnosed with a lack of a certain hormone which he got treated for. He is still not a giant, and If big mucles was important In football they would all look like bodybuilders.
He’s probably a salty CR7 fan.

These clips of him as a child breezing past players and scoring goals for fun show that he’s a naturally gifted footballer.
 
He’s probably a salty CR7 fan.

These clips of him as a child breezing past players and scoring goals for fun show that he’s a naturally gifted footballer.
Even though I enjoy Messi suffering it has nothing do with my thinking that had Messi naturally grown into say 5 feet without HGH, he wouldn't be as successful as he is now at 5'7''. Thus he's a "made" champion rather than a "born" one.
 
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Deleted member 756486

Guest
Even though I enjoy Messi suffering it has nothing do with my thinking that had Messi naturally grown into say 5 feet without HGH, he wouldn't be as successful as he is now at 5'7''. Thus he's a "made" champion rather than a "born" one.
I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.
 
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