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Is there such a thing as talent?





codegeek
Is talent something that exists? Do you believe that with enough work any person can do anything that any other person can do? Or are some people born special and have a particular type of aptitude for certain activities that makes them innately better suited for those activities? If that is so, what if some people have a talent for a certain activity, but never really take it up?
Ankhanu
Talent is basically just raw aptitude, and yes, it exists.

Thing is, it's only a part of the equation. As you suggest, yes, in many cases people can train themselves to just about any skill, even to a level of mastery, if they're dedicated enough. Conversely, the talented can be left behind the skills of the untalented if they do not work to shape their raw aptitude into actual skill.
If someone has a talent for something but never take it up, well, then they'll be mediocre at their talent. No biggie.
tonberry
I believe most people have talents that are unused. I just met too many people who did nothing in life and given enough time started to work wonders Smile I think almost everyone of us is capable of more than we do right now, the system is just terrible at spotting and using talent (education, proper preparation for adult life etc.)

Not everyone is Einstein though and when people start to explore quantum physics or complex tasks in a programming language, the limitations in those kinds of departments show very quickly and they are not ordinary obstacles that could be overcome with hard work. This is way too much for most of us mortals Wink
standready
To some people, certain skills just come naturally. Others must work hard.
deanhills
I'm wondering where running comes in? Can it be described as a talent? Or a physical attribute? How would someone with flat feet and physical attributes that run counter to what is needed for a good runner for example be able to compete with someone who has the right physical attributes to be a runner?
tonberry
deanhills wrote:
I'm wondering where running comes in? Can it be described as a talent? Or a physical attribute? How would someone with flat feet and physical attributes that run counter to what is needed for a good runner for example be able to compete with someone who has the right physical attributes to be a runner?


Semi-professional level, he could be decent if he runs against his countrymen, but in top world competitions he wouldn't stand a chance. Motivation and character play a big role in every sport, but whereas it could be a game changer in sports like MMA, in running it just wont earn you a medal.

People from Kenya are the best long distance runners (by a mile hihi). Reasons for that are not clear and the subject is touchy (racism). Kenyans themselves say they constantly win every competition they sign for because they work hard, but this would never justify such dominance in such large numbers, unless Kenya would be the Sparta of Africa or something. Which it is not.

The real reasons are probably genetic.

A year or two ago there was a marathon in Amsterdam and the organizers said that the reward for the first place is X, unless the winner is from Kenya, in which case he gets much less Smile
truespeed
Running fast whether over distance or sprinting is genetic,but,to reach the top you also need a certain mindset,a will to achieve,so you could be born with all the physical attributes to be the fastest,but without the right mentality,it will never happen.

This is true in all sports,I remember John Barnes (A footballer) saying that when he was younger there were a few lads he played with that were better than him,but while he went on to win everything with Liverpool and England they ended up being mechanics or labourers,the difference wasn't the raw talent,but having the determination to work hard,to improve and succeed.
tonberry
truespeed wrote:
This is true in all sports,I remember John Barnes (A footballer) saying that when he was younger there were a few lads he played with that were better than him,but while he went on to win everything with Liverpool and England they ended up being mechanics or labourers,the difference wasn't the raw talent,but having the determination to work hard,to improve and succeed.


Yes, there is no success in sports without motivation, but for some sports motivation is enough, for others you have to have top genetics AND unhuman motivation to top the races.

Football, of all sports, is probably the least physically demanding sport (unless you count chess). It's not that players don't get hammered, they do - especially when there are multiple obligations in a week - Champions League, Europa League, international duties etc. But the only physical aspects you really need are: not being prone to injuries and recovering quick when they hit (they always do, sooner or later).

The physical aspect has always been the strongest in the English Premier League and it still is, but everything is much softer nevertheless and referees now call for fouls in situations that would never qualify 20+ years ago. This makes it even less demanding physically.

Neymar is a small stick insect and he lost even more weight before coming to La Liga and everyone was saying he will not make it because he is too weak. We know what he does now already Smile
truespeed
tonberry wrote:


Football, of all sports, is probably the least physically demanding sport (unless you count chess)


Really? A typical midfielder travels 10km a game,sometimes as much as 14km,so for 90 minutes they are almost non stop on the move,varying speeds from walking to running to sprinting,that's 90 minutes,they do this while constantly being tracked and tackled by other players.

They often do this as much as 3 times a week.
tonberry
I encourage you to show me a professional football team that plays "often 3 times a week" Wink And I don't mean including reserves playing reserves in a friendly from time to time to stretch their legs and keep them in shape (not often, but it happens), but first team effort.

Two times a week is an overkill that sends managers into depression, but top European can't avoid it - league fixtures won't stop because of tournaments. Squad rotation is the answer and often better footballers leave room for worse ones to charge their batteries. The main reason for that is not that they play worse, because it takes many weeks of too much effort to burn a player (check the performances of top players during and after tight schedules to see the confirmation), but because they are more prone to injuries and injury is manager's worst friend Wink

When international duties are on, the leagues are off!

Ten kilometers ran during 90 minutes gives an average of 6km running speed. For comparison, top marathon runners cover run 42km in slightly more than 2 hours. And that is without set pieces where you barely move and off-the-ball positioning where you walk and regain your stamina - this makes it 100x harder.

My friend, who occasionaly runs a marathon and his biggest achievement so far has been a 60km marathon in the mountains (much harder than running on flat surface) runs 10-30km every day 7 days of the week! And he is no hot shot, he didn't finish high in any competition.

This is what your average passionate hobbyist runners do, you must know none if 10km once a week impresses you Smile

Check 25 minute UFC title fights or 3x 3x3m workouts Glory and K1 finalists partake to get the idea of an effort some athletes have to endure.

Football is a game of skill, not a game of genes and that is one of the main reasons why it is so popular - everyone can play it and if you put enough work into it, you can become very good at it. Now go and try to press 200kg on Olympics with skill Wink

Check the heights and weights of top Spanish players if you are still not convinced - before their generation, nobody believed small guys like these can be good footballers. Check out Messi.

Right now, we have a generation of low riders ruling the most prestigious football grounds - because the quick reactions and attention to details turns out to be more important than physical aspect of the game.
sonam
I think talent exist. Maybe this is just our brain what is different for each people and then someone can do something more easier then someone other. Also I think talent is not always in correlation with IQ.

We can see lot of incredible talent interpretations what anyone without talent cannot learn. Very Happy

Sonam
watersoul
I hold the view that everyone has different abilities which they may find easier to succeed at than other activities which may need to be worked harder to master.
This may be genetic, environmental, or even just because an individual enjoys one activity over another. For sure, it is generally easier to learn anything which you are naturally drawn to and enjoy.
I've always told my son that because his brain/body works perfectly well then he can pretty much do whatever he likes in life. OK, some things may be more challenging to learn than someone else might find it, but he'll also find some things 'easy' to learn which others find difficult.
I think that the key is enjoying the thing that you want to learn, but discovering what that 'thing' is can be a challenge in itself!

I'm crap at drawing (paint/pencil/etc) and dropped art as a subject at school because my 2D stick people was not going to result in a decent certificate.
I absolutely loved lessons involving clay work and using a potters wheel though, and in my work these days, my favourite material to work with is sand/cement/lime, using my trowels to create beautiful surfaces on uneven exterior walls of buildings.
I clearly see the link between rendering/plastering in my work as an adult, and working with clay as a child, but is this because I was exposed to using such material at a young age, because I enjoy using wet materials, or because I have a natural talent for it? I can't answer that really though...maybe a mixture of all of them Smile
markharris
Talent is, its and inborn thing.
watersoul
markharris wrote:
Talent is, its and inborn thing.
Are you just promoting your British flights link in your sig Mark?
When you posted in my topic about first unsupervised journeys you said (in similar assertive one line style) that you hadn't experienced such a thing yourself yet.
I suspect you're only at Frihost to promote the link in your sig.
If so, cool, Frihost ain't my website, but I'll ignore your replies if you are because I prefer the discussion side here Wink
spinout
Talent, well our genetics have not stopped evolving so talent is the excentricy.
zacky
codegeek wrote:
Is talent something that exists? Do you believe that with enough work any person can do anything that any other person can do? Or are some people born special and have a particular type of aptitude for certain activities that makes them innately better suited for those activities? If that is so, what if some people have a talent for a certain activity, but never really take it up?


Well it depends really. But basically I don't believe on in born talents or natural talents not unless it is on the category of behavior or thinking or anything that is hereditary proven by science. Think of a baby boy human left on the jungles with Monkeys? If baby boy survives, what it will inherit is from its nature and surrounding.
Vanilla
I believe in talent because I've seen a lot of examples during my life (not a pretty long life, I must say). From the top of my head I can cite two teachers who taught the same subject in college. I remember one of them being extremely careful about the words she chose to say. She took notes and she was always reading and trying to improve. The other teacher was just... She was just talented. She make teaching that subject looks like something fairly easy, something she was born to do. Her classes were fluid and she was just a part of the subject. I loved them both. I admired how persistent the first teacher was and how talented the second one was.
KneeDeep
I would say talent exists, but is an umbrella term for an individuals ability to adapt quickly and gain skill with seemingly little practice and effort. I myself tend to have to work to become good at anything. I don't really excel at anything, but can do a lot of things satisfactorily.
Insanity
I think there is talent even for people who haven't actually realized it yet. The thing is, it's funny to say someone is talented at something if they haven't even gone near that particular subject. I think it's true though -- to me, talent is an innate skill or knowlegde in something, and that stays there even if it hasn't been activated. Kind of funny, but true.
bukaida
Talent do exist. Someone can perform a job better than other even if both of them get same training. I think everyone inside themselves feel that s/he can perform one type of job/activity more easily than the other. And yes, every human being is talented in one way or the other. Talent is like a raw diamond which requires appropriate cutting ( training and nourishment ) to become a really shiny jewel.
spinout
hm, when thinking of ping pong, it is clear that some people are more gifted ...
jamesparker
Talent Exists, No doubt its a natural thing God gifted
playfungames
I believe that talent comes naturally or they can be inherited. For example: A beautiful voice. You can have a beautiful voice as you are born. Noone will have to teach you how to make your voice beautiful. You just have it.

Then comes the part where you actually end up using that talent. You can use your beautiful voice to sing and for that it requires a lot of practice. So, even with raw talents, one has to always work hard to make it work for them.

So, talent does exist naturally but people have to work to use their talent for their benefit.
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