[Success] Training vs. Talent – Which Wins?

Frog Talent & Training

I read an article somewhere that said it is actually much better for you to tell children that they worked hard on something than to tell them that they’re smart.

It was one of those nuggets that I recognized with my head but didn’t make it all the way to my heart. Until now…

It is better to be focused and trained – disciplined and persistent than talented.

This famous poem really sums it up:

Press on
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.                                                                                                             Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.                                                                                               Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

— Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the USA)

Back in 2001 (sigh, why does that sound soo long ago?) I got accepted into the high performance training camp for racquetball hosted at the U.S. Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs.

USRA Olympic Camp Pic
HUGE deal for me. I was talented. While I was there, one of the coaches came up to me after watching me play and told me that I was “very fast”. I glowed. I beamed. I said thank you! And then he looked at me and said it wasn’t a compliment.

“Your speed makes you sloppy.”

When I coach, I teach that you do one thing the way you do everything. And I can now look back with hindsight and realize that my speed (read: my talent) did in fact make me sloppy in my life.

I was so very fast that I could get to anything on the court. I didn’t have to train properly. I didn’t have to make sure that my body was always in balance. I didn’t have to use economy of motion. I didn’t apply strategy to my play or analyze my competitors well. My talent made it easy for me to skip training, practice, discipline and focus. It made me sloppy.

This is the year that I train my talents. I challenge you to look at your greatest talent and ask yourself where has it made you sloppy? If you apply persistence and training on top of your talent YOU WILL BECOME EXTRAORDINARY.

training guy
I have not one, but two live coaching programs I’m in plus one coaching program online. So I have invested in three coaches training my talent this year. I’ve stopped asking what it is COSTING me (a good bit!) and focus on what it’s WORTH to me. Total commitment + Natural Talent = World Class.

Someone who prepares, focuses, puts in the effort of self-discipline and persists toward their goal will always beat your natural talent in the long run. 

Share with me below what you are willing to commit to do to train your talent.

Tanya Stewart
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