Is there such a thing as natural talent? Some say yes, I do not think there is?

PoolBum

Ace in the side.
Silver Member
To become a world class pool player or golfer takes hours and hours of dedicated practice. One can not become great on "natural talent". You have to put in the work.
They need not be mutually exclusive. I think some people have a natural talent for being able to work hard.
 
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Cue Alchemist

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Talent or having a god given gift for the game dose exist. Probably the two best examples cue sports is reyes and O'sullivan. Two the most naturally gifted players who ever lived.
When someone makes a game look that easy. It's not just down to thousands and thousands of hours of practice. I has to be something more. It feels like in today's pool world
Everybody has the same playing style pretty much.today with all the aiming systems and other things being thought. So things don't look as natural as the previous generation of players. I started watching pool in 1998 and in 1999. With players like Strickland, bustamante, archer, reyes, varner, luat. all at the top of game at that time. Thay all made the game look very easy at times. Each had there own playing style, to my 14 year old self at the time. It really inspired me to play like them.

I don't feel that from this current crop of players. But the talent always rises to the top. Shaw, filller, oschen. And obviously guy called SVB. Just the way. thay hit the ball.
One other aspect of this. Is being able to read the table. And seeing the patterns and angles that may not look, as obvious to others. And the willing Ness to trust your stoke under extreme pressure.
There is a guy called phill Burford in my last tournament, he only played twice in a month before. He got the final of a Gb9 on that little practice. It's like someone said, it's down to muscle memory in the end from all the a hours and years you did before.
 

dardusm

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ahhh the age old question of nature vs. nurture. As with anything, it's almost never black and white but gray. A good read that I have mentioned before "Talent is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin. There is a semi local girl that started playing a year ago (10 years old). She has almost perfect form without any instruction. Joey Gray has worked with her but didn't touch her mechanics. It was natural for her. She plays at about a 6 level in the APA (She was accused of stealing a 4 and under tournament by a butthurt player :)) She finished 2nd in a ladies open event that I ran last month and will compete in Vegas at the upcoming BCA junior Nationals. She has a natural affinity towards the game no doubt. But, she will need to train and work hard to reach her full potential if she so chooses that path no matter her talent.
 

Willowbrook Wolfy

Your wushu is weak!
In my opinion. I think natural talent is overrated. It tends to make people quit before reaching their actual limit. When someone has natural talent in something they tend to get to a middle to high level with a lot less effort than most. And are better than a lot of other people at whatever it is.

People without that natural talent have already put in a lot more time(effort) to get into the middle to high level and are more likely to continue putting in the effort. Whereas the person with natural talent isn’t “used to” having to put in the amount of effort needed to reach a very high level. And in turn are more likely to give up before reaching it.

I do believe someone with natural talent, that puts in the effort, will end up better at whatever they are doing. As long as there is no maximum level. There’s only so much time in a day, and years in a life.
 
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336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Gold Member
Silver Member
For Pool to me the statement "natural talent" means perfect depth perception. Does not mean doesn't practice.

To become a world class pool player or golfer takes hours and hours of dedicated practice. One can not become great on "natural talent". You have to put in the work.
 

alphadog

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
To become a world class pool player or golfer takes hours and hours of dedicated practice. One can not become great on "natural talent". You have to put in the work.
You need to define natural talent as I feel all talent is natural as opposed to artificially enhanced.
Look at a few pages of the the sexy images of all kinds thread and you will see what I am referring to.😉
 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
There is a lot of talent in minor league baseball. Most never get to major because old pro stay around long time, so do get hurt then retire.

Friend is local Fireman, hr department has 4-5 ex minor league players who got tired of waiting, and starving.
 

BlueRaider

Registered
There is a lot of talent in minor league baseball. Most never get to major because old pro stay around long time, so do get hurt then retire.

Friend is local Fireman, hr department has 4-5 ex minor league players who got tired of waiting, and starving.
I played pool for a few hours one time with a guy whose minor league baseball career had ended that very week. He was 26 and said that if you've never gotten called up to the majors by that point in your life, you're done.

He was also very good at pool given his minimal time investment in the game. He said he had only been playing for a couple of years and had only played at his various team clubhouses/facilities once or twice a week, and yet he already played at roughly APA SL5 level.
 

kanzzo

hobby player
It's proven by science, thst talent doesn't exist and it doesn't make any sense from evolutionary point of view. Our talent as a species is to become great in whatever field we choose. So it's funny, how many here will advocate the talent myth.
Best forward studies are the girls from Laszlo Polgar (chess) or the Williams sisters (tennis). But it's same with Mozart or Tiger Woods.
It's just the decision of the parents to "make" the best in the chosen field out of their kids.
They all startet out with: "as long as my child is healthy, he can be worlds best (chess, tennis, golf) player if he only puts in the required amount of the right dedicated deliberate practice".
There are a few sports, where some body features help (being high for basketball or having big arms in relation to the body for swimming) - but for a precision sport like pool all you need is an average healthy body.

 

CocoboloCowboy

Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
I played pool for a few hours one time with a guy whose minor league baseball career had ended that very week. He was 26 and said that if you've never gotten called up to the majors by that point in your life, you're done.

He was also very good at pool given his minimal time investment in the game. He said he had only been playing for a couple of years and had only played at his various team clubhouses/facilities once or twice a week, and yet he already played at roughly APA SL5 level.


Well the minor league baseball player, are all hoping for a change.

Most spend life chasing dream, but few Achebe it because Baseball in Majors is long career.
 

Gatz

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Look at Lebron James. Dude was born to play basketball lol 😂

There are some physical limitations to certain things. Like example above, Lebron just built perfectly for basketball. You're not going to see someone with a growth issue playing in the NBA lol

But anyway. I'm a firm believer that with the right mindset, drive, determination, some good guidance and enough time that anyone can be a world class pool player. Some people would pick it up quicker, some slower. But in the end If you dedicate yourself and like the game enough you can get there. But, you have to be willing to sacrifice A LOT.
 
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Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
how do the “natural talent doesn’t exist” folks explain Wu Jiaqing winning the world championship at age 16?

Delusional.
1) it's not that it doesn't exist, it just doesn't get you there by itself.
2) It doesn't matter what kind of talent you have, if you aren't eating, sleeping, breathing what you're talented at you will NOT excel.
3) Wu had probably played 50,000 hours prior to winning the worlds at 16.

Jaden

a LOT of the time talent LIMITS your success rather than providing it. When things come to you too easily, there's a tendency to become lackadaisical...
 

Matt_24

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
To become a world class pool player or golfer takes hours and hours of dedicated practice. One can not become great on "natural talent". You have to put in the work.
Talent is definitely for real. Some can put in all of the hours their entire life and at best be a B player - but they can be knowledgeable. Some can take up the game and in a year be a pro-level (John Schmidt) for example. Don't deceive yourself. Talent is real. Physical abilities are real. Physical capabilities are different from person to person.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
you cant get silk from a cows ear !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
somehow i think this is relevant to this discussion.......;)
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've often wondered if "natural talent" isn't instead just a better understanding/intuition of body mechanics and how to align the body to shoot straight, which may or may not be a conscious thought for beginners. There's also probably some degree of shot visualization that's naturally better in some people. And from there those players are able to hit the ground running and bypass a lot of the frustration and false-starts that might hobble other players or hold them back for years, if not decades.

My theory is that some players pick up the game and have decent mechanics almost immediately. This may relate to better overall hand-eye coordination or athleticism.

We all know people who are good at just about anything that involves hand-eye coordination. I used to play in a pool room with a lot of casual players, and I would notice that every once in a while, a guy who clearly didn't know how to play could break pretty well and had a straight stroke, even though it usually looked a little clumsy. And then I would see other people who couldn't even attempt a break without miscuing and couldn't make a straight-in shot to save their lives.

My own experience playing pool with my group of friends in college when we were all beginners showed me that people definitely develop at different rates. I was the worst among my friends when I was starting out, but ultimately that's what spurred me on to learn the game. If I had been able to just plop down on the table and shoot balls in right away like some of them could, I don't think the game would have grabbed me.
I will relate this to every sport that I ever coached, participated, or viewed. There are ALWAYS some people who just naturally align themselves "correctly" in several different components of a particular sport. Add to that, those very same people who have physical attributes ( for pool it might be superior eyesight, for another sport it might be pure strength, etc.) that ENHANCE their natural ability even further.

Now add to this mix, someone with well above average abilities as it relates to spacial relationships, exceptional internal timing mechanisms ( for pool that would be the ability to release the cue at the moment the eye and brain agree on the object point).

Add in someone's more natural ability to move that cue smoothly and evenly through the cue ball with intense focus on the object ball; add in someone's natural ability to face competition with controlled emotions and clear thinking .

You start to get the picture of long duration champions- they need a great work ethic to stay on top, but whenever things get really tough, natural abilities usually hold up better than reformed abilities - not always- but more often than not this is true. Anyone here who has worked really hard at something, thought they had "made it" ; then got crushed, knows what I MEAN ABOUT FACING SUPERIOR NATURAL TALENT.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I believe that a majority people who engage in sports on a regular basis fall in the range of fair to good natural ability. Those in this ability range who have the drive, the time frame, and are willing to work hard enough, can raise themselves to a level of very good ( top 70 to 90%)

I do believe that the top 10% in sports is reserved for those with natural abilities in the the very good to superior range, as a starting point, that is enhanced with the degree of work required to uplift that natural ability; and will almost always overcome any equal or even superior work ethic bolted onto someone with an inferior natural ability in a given sport.

In being honest with myself, as an example, I think that I am someone who has added a good natural ability to a strong work ethic in the game of pool- I would be a fool to believe that I could ever have competed with the greats in pool, no matter how much time I devoted to it.
 

Guy Manges

Registered
Natural talent exists in a big way. Whether it's pool or anything else, if two people make the exact same effort to become proficient at something, one will outachieve the other because they have more aptitude in learning that subject. That aptitude is called natural talent.

Yes, one can become proficient at almost anything with sufficient work ethic, but the path to proficiency will be either shortened or lengthened by natural talent.

When great natural talent hooks up with maximum effort, a level is reached that is unattainable for those with less natural talent.
God's will natural talent, Talent is just a word we have to use with extra work... Guy
 
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Guy Manges

Registered
Talent is for suckers. No one on this forum has ever been capped by their talent. Maybe if we talk about what separates the #1 and #10 player in history we could theorize but it’s still a debate. People who point to stories of quick or slow learners are talking about short time durations with a small subset of skills, not an overall career. In reality none of us will ever be limited by anything by other than our own attitudes and effort so I believe in focusing exclusively on what we can control. Almost all champions believe this and I’m glad those who don’t are my competition.
My dad use to say that about luck... I believe we have talent, but we have to apply it... Guy
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here is a simple way to look at the subject of natural talent- most everyone can get better in sports- very few can become great in sports no matter what they do. Therefore, natural talent exists in degrees.
 
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