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Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Much has been said about talent, there are many books that try to explain it, although, from my point of view, they fail to do so in its entirety. Regardless of whether each person has one or more outstanding abilities that distinguish them, that, in my opinion, does not mean that they are talented. As a tennis coach, I have seen countless players with very high capacities to hit the ball, to understand the game, or to do incredible things, but they never came to anything important. On the other hand, many players who did not have half of those capacities reached higher levels.

      Let's go to a practical case. If we compare Rafa Nadal with Nick Kirgyos, who is the most talented? What is clearly seen is that Kirgyos plays tennis as if it were easy, effortless. Instead, Nadal, it seems that left part of his life in each shot. Who is more talented? According to popular understanding, Kirgyos is "the" talented, but Nadal has 19 Grand Slams. In other words, my first conclusion is that talent is not the ability or facility to perform a task. Has to be something different.

     I think the first mistake is to confuse talent with the ability, capacity, or ease to perform a task. If a person learns quickly to play the piano, we say that is talented; if a tennis player has great facility to hit the ball, we say that is talented. Under this scale, there are hundreds of millions of talented people, but only a small percentage that stands out above the rest.

     So where is the key to talent really? Of course, to become top 10 we need high technical, tactical, physical, and mental abilities, many of which may be genetic characteristics. But, are technical, tactical, physical, and even mental abilities determining? Or are they just predisposing?

      Talent goes far beyond having extraordinary abilities. Talent is neither physical in tennis nor mental in chess. Talent is a decision.

Talent is having the will to decide and commit to taking our capabilities to the limit."


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