Natural Talent and Practice

We can’t have a discussion about practice without talking about those who appear to have a natural talent.

People who have a natural talent at something…are challenging. They’re the ones who pick things up quickly, who can bring a grace or precision to what they do. They’re fun to watch, even when they’re insufferable to be around…for various reasons.

The problem with people who are natural talents is that often they feel that they don’t need practice. They can already run with the big dogs, so why do they need to practice?

And they’re right….at least about running with the big dogs. But just like experts and masters have to keep practicing, engaging more in deliberate practice to keep up and fine tune their skills, natural talents have to do the same thing or they’ll be lapped by the people who’ve been working hard all along.

What’s worse is when a teacher, coach, or mentor, for whatever reason, agrees with the natural talent and lets them slide. They do that person a huge disservice. There literally is no level of talent that cannot benefit from practicing.

What I hope you’re understanding here is that practice is a part of the learning process. A very necessary part, regardless of where you are in your development.


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