Man I wish I could drive. Never had the environment or the affluent upbringing to even consider it. I go out for a few miles I take all the good lines at legal speed. I try for smoothness, using momentum and less throttle and brakes. Not exactly performance driving but it makes point A to point B more enjoyable.Another couple of data points on "natural talent":
1) the music student who has "perfect pitch". Frank Sinatra had it. It is the ability to hear a note, and completely out of context, say "that's A" or "that's C". Related are people (such as myself) who have very keen relative pitch sensing, while we cannot "name" a note, we can indeed discern that a particular note is sharp or flat compared to another note (like, someone in the band playing off-key). I'm sure all of us here know someone who cannot carry a tune to save their life.
Also, I have a very good palette, both oral and olfactory. Once I smelled a packet of mulling spices and I was able to identify 11 of the 20 spices and herbs in the package. My wife could not identify more than three. I have a very good nose and tongue for tasting wine. If I had the ambition, I bet I'd be a very good sommelier.
2) I've instructed well over 100 students at High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) track days, where I'd ride right seat with helmet-to-helmet communications, teaching people how to drive their sports cars on a road race course. I've instructed students with incredibly widely diverse "natural talent".
My worst student was a young lady who was only there because her boyfriend wanted to be there, and she wanted to learn with him. She was nervous, totally flummoxed by the speed, traffic, and sensory overload, having to keep track of her own speed, cars around her, the sensory input from the car (steering and brake pedal feedback, etc.), and learning "the line". It was WAY over her head to process all at once. The only reason we were able to get her reasonably safe out there with other students was because I suggested to the chief instructor that we do a "lead/follow" session showing her the line. She did not get it when she rode with me, nor in any description from the right seat I provided her on where to be on the track.
In stark contrast, my best student was a 747 pilot. Because he showed up with an NSX, and I own one and have tracked it, he was assigned to me. He was relaxed, receptive, and an absolute sponge. Anything I suggested, he was able to internalize and apply seamlessly. He got fast *really quickly*, and learned better and faster, by far, than any other student I had ever instructed. There is a book and movie called "The Right Stuff" that describes people with certain natural "right stuff" talent.
I like to think that in my own history, I took to track driving very quickly. It probably wouldn't happen these days due to current litigation and conservative policies, but I was signed off to drive solo in my first ever track day.
Yes, Virginia, there are people who have natural talent. Based on my instructional experience, there were students who ran the gamut, from totally intimidated, to relaxed and stunningly able to absorb and apply technique.
Pool may be less of a dramatic endeavor than something that can kill you when gotten wrong (I was in an NSX with a 16-year-old student; we crashed at the FIRST braking zone of the FIRST lap of the FIRST hot session of the day), but I'm sure my experience instructing drivers applies to learning pool.
Race driving stands far above pool in mental and physical requirements though. Drunks can play super pool. I doubt they can drive at the racing limit. Even then I still think it's a matter of available time, lifestyle timing, and genuine interest and perseverance.