The Natural Goalscorer?

Here is an excellent article written by Paul Cammarata from The Coaching Journey. It discusses the question of whether or not “talent” is innate/natural, or the product of several controllable factors including practice time and effort. Many examples of athletes from different sports are used, including soccer’s Leonel Messi.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

The Coaching Journey

Are geniuses born or created? What about natural goalscorers? We’ve all seen a player who just has that knack. Inzaghi was just given the gift of always being in the right place to score. Messi has god-given talent. Beckham always had that knack for hitting the top corner from a free kick. Let’s look at other sports. Ray Allen had a god-given jump shot. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were born clutch. Tom Brady is a natural winner.

It’s my belief that the thought process mentioned above is a seriously flawed notion that many people may hold. And understand, what I’m going to say below goes against many of the nice quotes you’ll read from most top athletes who describe their abilities. This article will inevitably ruffle some feathers because many who hold the traditional view of “natural talent” can’t conceive of the fact that another Messi can be developed…

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2 thoughts on “The Natural Goalscorer?

  1. Adil Vellani

    Interesting article, you should also read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” where he describes the 10.000 hour rule. He describes that practicing a certain task for around 10,000 hours is necessary before one can ever achieve great success.

    • richard@soccerfitnessgols.com

      Thanks Adil! I did read the book and I do remember the 10,000-hour rule. Actually there is still a debate going on about the accuracy of that rule. Most research done on talent identification has demonstrated that a combination of natural athletic ability, work ethic, number of hours of dedicated practice, training environment, and a bit of luck (being in the “right place at the right time”) is required!

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