Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sounds good, but....

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Now that I am back in Tucson, I am back to lifting and working out in my old weight room. It’s a pretty top-notch weight room…one of the best in the country I’ve heard. So all over the walls they have pictures of previous Arizona super-star athletes as well as quotes that are supposed to motivate and inspire. One of said quotes is the one mentioned above. I’ve seen it every day for the past couple of weeks but just the other day I had a conversation with my coach about it and we happened to agree on something…it’s not entirely true.

This quote is a bit utopian in that it makes you believe that your success as an athlete is solely determined on how hard you work and that if you work harder than most everyone else, you will be better than him or her. I only need to look at my own experience to prove this quote false. Hard work only beats talent when two people are somewhat equally talented, otherwise, talent wins.

In college I was a great athlete and I was very successful. I always thought I worked hard but it would only take a glance to my left or right to find someone who was probably working harder than me. I also look at the way I train now and I notice a profound difference in my habits from when I was a college athlete. Nevertheless, back then I pretty much beat everybody. The walk-ons would flat out embarrass me doing stadium runs but line us up in a competition and I would have nothing to worry about.

Of course, I am in no way dissing hard work. The fact of the matter is that inevitably there will always be someone better than you and if you want to continually strive to be the best that you can be, you must push yourself and always work as hard as possible. It’s been said that athletes such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are some of the most committed people when it comes to practicing and training, and coupled with the fact that they possess some of the most amazing talent known to man, it makes for an unstoppable combination. That’s what I want…to know that I’ve worked harder than everybody else out there but also know that my talent trumps yours. But if I just had to choose only one…give me talent any day. You can always improve on how hard you work, but the talent is God-given and some people just ain’t got it.


Teej said...

Hmmmmm.....what a wise one you are. When I initially read the quote I was like 'Dammmmmmn thats deep!', but in reading your blog I am not swayed by your point. Even I left my computer as I typed this and went and dedicated myself to playing polo, worked hard at it day in and day out for 3 months I probably wouldnt be able to beat an average polo player.

Again.....I love your wisdom and insight little one. ;)

Arkiem said...

omg! You hit it right on the head. I've gotta quote you on this when I start my website. THe crazy thing is that the most talented ones seem to rely soley on their talent. THen at some point they realize that they need to incorporate hard work to truly be successful, but they find out too lte in the game. Good luck with everything.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Brianna,

I actually think the idea of natural talent comes a lot from sports journalists who have either forgotten what hard work is or just never knew.

I hear journalists tout natural talent and I think of my exposure to athletes and how hard they work. If you have been doing something since you were 5 years old and have become proficient at it is that natural talent or work ethic that's made you successful?

I think talent is made rather than something that people are born with.

I think talent is a belief in oneself and the work to back up that belief.


Brianna said...

I see what you're's easy for "outsiders" to look at an extremely talented athlete and say that it's so effortless and that it just comes so naturally for them to be good. Obviously that is not the case--there is almost always tons of hard work that develops that talent.

I know I work hard, but even if I didn't, I still would be better than 99% of other people out there who tried really hard to be good at what I do. The reason I work so hard is to become better than that other 1%.

t.v. said...

This reminds me of an on going discussion of Nature vs Nurture.
Which is more important and can the two be seperated?

Our talents are gifts from God. In order to be successful one must work hard. Ofcourse because of your talent things are easier, but if you don't develop your gift (talent) then you lose it. It becomes useless.

Success equals talent and hard work. People with certain talents have the edge over people without those talents, despite their hard work.

Jenny said...

Hey Brianna! Paul just informed me about your website and blog. Love it! As a friend of mine from Louisiana always says, Keep on Truckin'. See you soon I'm sure!