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Old 23rd January 2014, 11:22 AM
simona simona is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lowestoft
Posts: 177

Whatever the truth of talent, believing in its existence is not helpful. Believing that hard work and analysis will improve your skill is a far more constructive approach. At this point in life I happen not to believe in God but when the improved life outcomes of believers is considered I rather wish I did.

There is no doubt that some individuals have physical attributes which allow them to achieve greater levels of effectiveness in certain sports. That is slightly different from working out how good someone is at a certain sport. Few pundits would argue that Tyson Fury is a better boxer that Floyd Mayweather but if they were put in a ring together the humungous youngster’s sheer size would probably see him come out on top.

When Tiger Woods came through much was made of the fact that he was (and is) fairly physically fit. This obscured an appreciation of his superb skill and massive metal strength. When he won that US Open with the broken leg and knackered knee he was clearly the least fit man in the field. His other attributes were so strong that even when on one leg he had enough to win. Having a broken body revealed just where his real strength was.

The example of the cricketers is interesting. The children of super ex-players have a huge advantage; they will have received superb advice from an early age and perhaps most crucially success will be normalised from the start. They will see their fathers playing well and regard this as par for the course. They will self-identify as cricket players. Most insidiously they might even think that they have some innate advantage over their peers, even worse their peers might think they have some innate advantage too. All of this might combine to give these children an expectation of excellence which you can call confidence. Whatever my competence at FT I have almost zero confidence, I am a worrier and deeply illogical, under pressure these characteristics are highly corrosive.

Going back to the cricket, there is a big difference between someone turning up with good kit and listening and training with some keenness to someone who is so absorbed in their motivation that they are lost in the sport, that they wake up in the night with ideas about how they might improve. My personal feeling is that this sort of extreme single-mindedness might be most common in men and this may be one reason why there has never been a woman who could say, win a top snooker or darts tournament, sports where the physical advantages of men are of negligible importance. If winning these sports relied on talent then woman would compete on equal terms, unless talent (as well as existing) only existed in men. Sad to say men seem to predominate in many areas which require extreme one-track mindsets including mass-murder, suicide, some areas of art etc. I’m not sure many woman are daft enough to throw their lives against the wall to rival a top male snooker player’s skill. Imagine a woman Gazza?
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