I tend to agree with this...
This is not true.
Natural talent does HELP but it's not the only thing that's needed. It can only take you "so" far. After that it's all about how dedicated you are to being a better pool player.
To me the most important thing is true desire to be better.
It's kind of like people who talk about quitting smoking. They take patches, pills are other things that might help 'em to quit but most of the time they fail cuz of their lack of willpower to quit it. (I am a smoker so this is from personal experience).
Also it depends on individual basis on what is going to help them to get to next level. It's usually a combination of different things.
P.S:- I also want to add that there are people out there that are kind of prodigy but then those people are exceptions. And there are very few of them. So, don't equate that to "natural ability" being the biggest factor in improving.
Talent is necessary. People that don't have any talent aren't going to get really far. But what is talent???
Is it potential??
Who knows for sure what we're referring to when we say oh he has talent.
Many people think it's something inherent and natural. I think that is a confusing supposition.
Almost NO ONE that we refer to as having natural talent at anything just started playing at a high level from day one.
Concert pianists played multiple hours a day for years and even decades to become truly masterful. Even when they had a VERY strong ear for music and were considered prodigies at young ages.
There are a few cases of child prodigies that were extremely talented, in that it didn't take a ton of practice to become proficient and people with no ear for music might NEVER become proficient.
So in that respect I guess that talent would be considered potential and learning ability.
Without some of that, no one can become anything, but that alone is NEVER enough.
Tiger woods would NEVER have become the golfer he is without years of dedicated practice and competition.
It's the same with any endeavor, the overwhelming decider in how great you will become is how you dedicate yourself to that endeavor.
Often times we are amazed at how some people have overcome great obstacles to become great at something.
I think that is the determining factor. That willingness to tell those people that think you have to have natural talent or who say, "oh you can't do that for such and such a reason", to say "Up Yours" and do it anyways.
If someone watches how I'm able to kick and thinks, oh he has natural talent at kicking...
Up yours, I WORKED MY ASS OFF to be able to consistently kick the way I do.
I think it does a disservice to the effort people have put into the game to say they have natural talent.
I don't remember where I read it, but I just recently read where someone was talking about that moment when you just wake up playing different, and it was pretty obvious they were referring to John Schmidt.
He has stated, I just woke up and something clicked, it was just different and I could play.
Do you really think it was MAGIC and that he couldn't play at that level before that?
If you do, you're crazy. It was a mental block. He had the skill but not that TRUE belief in himself. He woke up after forcing himself to win and REALIZED, TRULY REALIZED that that was the game he was capable of and he never looked back.
There are MANY MANY players out there that are capable of top notch play and I believe that their main limitation is that lack of true belief in their ability.
don't mistake that sudden realization and change in caliber of competition as a former lack of ability and change in skill level. It's NOT. They already knew how to play, but lacked the ability to know how to compete under pressure in most cases.
There's also not a lot of incentive to dedicate yourself to the game like you need to.
I love the game, I've loved the game for a multitude of reasons for many years, one of which was a desire to get my father (a road player in the 60's out of lousiville) to respect me.
It's become more for myself more recently and this game is friggin addictive. It's my one addiction. I don't gamble really. I don't smoke, I don't drink. I just am not an addictive personality except when it comes to pool.
To me there's no better feeling than playing perfect pool.
To be playing someone like Ernesto and have him lock you behind a ball and come up and kick it in and run out is one of the best feelings I've EVER felt and I've sky dived and traveled the world and played music on stage to a crowded theater (that comes in a close second btw) but that feeling is indescribable.
It's.....pure...I think is the best way to describe it and I just can't wait to get on the table and have a chance to do it again.