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View Full Version : Sporting Excellence - can it be taught/learnt?


Jaffa
01-07-2002, 12:28 AM
Throughout the world of sport there are people who stand out as the best. Take Zi Zou for example... the World Cup aside, he is regarded as the best footballer on the planet, who has a breathtaking array of skills, and fantastic vision.

But is genius in the sporting arena something that you are born with, or is it something you learn?

You will all know that the human body is capable of learning an incredible amount, and it is probably evident to most that Sport is no exception - Im sure you have all played an unfamiliar sport, and gradually improved over a period of time.

Would it be possible, with enough time and practice, to become a footballer of professional standard?

Say we took someone from this BBS who was reasonably young (say 22) and gave them intensive coaching over the course of a year. Would they be able to hold their own in the Professional game?

Geezer
01-07-2002, 12:41 AM
Coaching can be a great improvement, skills etc can be learn on an intensive training program. I really believe that if someone aged say 18/19, with a reasonable amount of ability, was given an intensive program of caoching over say 2/3months they would at least be able to hold thier own in the ryman.

However talent is defiently needed to make it at a higher level, but attitude and commitment also come into it, someone like Gazza had an amazing amount of talent that could not be taught or coached.

GreatGonzo
01-07-2002, 12:43 AM
It is a mixture of both.

Take Ashley Cole and his brother as an example.

Both from exactly the same breeding similar ages and at comparative ages i understand were very similar in terms of abilty. However one was prepared to put in all the hours of training and ate sensibly, while the other concertrateed on other aspects of adolecent life.

One is now an England international, the other, well is not.

On the otherhand if you do not have the genetic build up then i do not think that you have a hope in hell no matter how many hours you spend with a ball at your feet.

Is it a coincidence that so many brothers/cousins play professional football, thinking of the Charltons, Nevilles, Ferdinands etc to name just 3 where both have played for England in major tounaments. I am sure you can all think of more.

Beckham would never be the player he is today though if it had not been for the fact he hit 50-100 freekicks a day when he was younger.

Jaffa
01-07-2002, 12:43 AM
I think thats been the widely held view for a few years now, but it doesnt necessarily apply in my opinion.

You can learn a language to fluency, so why not football...

Daniel_Nash
01-07-2002, 12:56 AM
Some people are born with talents, imagination can be transferred into lots of fields.. art, science, business and the sporting field.

Also, you pick up things you see around you. Say your parents were into sport, then you may inherit certain traits they have. For example, my Mum ran the 100 yards for Scotland at High School and held the record, and i can run the 100m in 13seconds. So perhaps i inherited that.

Or if your Father was a keen watcher of sports, then you'd probably watch aswell. You'd see things, and go outside and try and recreate them! Does that count as coaching? if it does, then coaching starts at a very young age.

That's possibly where you get the basic ability from. Then as you get older and stronger and realise how to do more things, then you learn more and improve. No reason why you can't do this in later life.

People take up sports all the time, starting with basic skills and routines and then progressing up and up. I would worry about someone not used to the training being placed on an intensive programme though, injuries and problems might arise.

Geezer
01-07-2002, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by GreatGonzo
It is a mixture of both.

Take Ashley Cole and his brother as an example.

Both from exactly the same breeding similar ages and at comparative ages i understand were very similar in terms of abilty. However one was prepared to put in all the hours of training and ate sensibly, while the other concertrateed on other aspects of adolecent life.

One is now an England international, the other, well is not.

On the otherhand if you do not have the genetic build up then i do not think that you have a hope in hell no matter how many hours you spend with a ball at your feet.

Is it a coincidence that so many brothers/cousins play professional football, thinking of the Charltons, Nevilles, Ferdinands etc to name just 3 where both have played for England in major tounaments. I am sure you can all think of more.

Beckham would never be the player he is today though if it had not been for the fact he hit 50-100 freekicks a day when he was younger.

Yeah i agree mate, if you have the talent youve got to have the determination to put the effort in as well, practice makes perfect.

Palace
01-07-2002, 01:02 AM
I, like my dad, am personally good at all sports, but not great at any. I believe that it is down to natural ability as far as realising a talent goes, but it is the work/training that makes that talent into something.

Performing on a stage like the world cup comes down to not only ability, but the mentality of the person, which makes the talent shine.

If a person of talent and mental toughness were trained, they could defiantely make it.

Jaffa
01-07-2002, 01:05 AM
I would also say I am a natural sportsman, but it is my fitness that really lets me down from achieving anything...

Thats why this summer I intend to start rectifying that.

Santos-er
01-07-2002, 01:12 AM
Yep. I'm 25, playing Sunday League football but I still seriously think I could play in the premiership! Just got to stop drinking so much and quit smoking (again) :p

I had a dream before the world cup that I was in the England squad and Beckham bought me an ice cream on a beach somewhere. It was one of the really realistic type that you wake up and think 'bollocks!' coz it was only a dream. Never mind :(

firesign
01-07-2002, 01:29 AM
I believe that excellence can be taught/learnt. Although if I'm being pedantic I would say that genius is a far rarer thing and cannot be taught - but it can be learnt and those who possess it are just as likely to have learnt it through their social/cultural experiences rather than having been born with any inherent skill.

Anyone seen any of the 'Faking It' shows on Channel 4? I think they're great. They basically take a nobody, give them four weeks intensive training in a particular area and almost without fail, turn them into a pro.

pete eagle
01-07-2002, 01:32 AM
I think the ability is not in the actual technique, it's the ability to spot a pass from 30 or 40 yards away, to find gaps in the defence,etc,etc. The technique can be easily taught but the eye for the finishing,passing and timing cannot be taught

Geezer
01-07-2002, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by firesign

Anyone seen any of the 'Faking It' shows on Channel 4? I think they're great. They basically take a nobody, give them four weeks intensive training in a particular area and almost without fail, turn them into a pro.

I saw the one where they turned the posh kid into a abouncer was quite good. He changed from looking like a poof to looking quite hard.

Jaffa
01-07-2002, 01:35 AM
Im not so sure about that either. If you have played competitive sport from an early age I think you have this.

I would attribute this to how I am better at Lacrosse after 6 months than some of my peers after 3ys (noteably girls who dont tend to play as much sport)

pete eagle
01-07-2002, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by Jaffa
Im not so sure about that either. If you have played competitive sport from an early age I think you have this.

I would attribute this to how I am better at Lacrosse after 6 months than some of my peers after 3ys (noteably girls who dont tend to play as much sport)

that's what i mean Jaffa, if you play sport a lot from an early age you are more likely to be able to do better at them because you learn things far quicker at an earlier age. But some kids who play sport at a young age still don't have the eye for the game.
I'll give you an example, i coach tennis at my local club, now in one of the sessions we teach kids of about 5-7. One kid has been playing for well on a year now but still cannot hit the ball to save her life but one kid hits the ball well nearly every time with a lot of power and generally in. He has natural ability the other one does not, now we can work on his technique and hone his shots but he has the natural ability to do it in the first place, the best we can do with the other one is get her to hit the ball

Jaffa
01-07-2002, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by pete eagle
One kid has been playing for well on a year now but still cannot hit the ball to save her life but one kid hits the ball well nearly every time with a lot of power and generally in. He has natural ability the other one does not, now we can work on his technique and hone his shots but he has the natural ability to do it in the first place, the best we can do with the other one is get her to hit the ball

Important parts of above sentence highlighted.

pete eagle
01-07-2002, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by Jaffa


Important parts of above sentence highlighted.

it was an example, i have a boy in that group who cannot hit the ball to save his life and a girl that hits it well. Some have natural ability, some don't.

Ben H
01-07-2002, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by Jaffa


Important parts of above sentence highlighted.

Very harsh Jaffa

Jaffa
01-07-2002, 01:57 AM
Its to do with sport an early age though I think.

Most boys tend to play football when they are 5 upwards and so get co-ordination and things like vision at that early age. Some girls will play sport at that age but most wont. Hence my example.

We have girls at Lacrosse, who while they can catch and throw fairly reasonably they just cant spot killer passes and a lot of the time they dont have a mental toughness either and collapse under pressure. The men in the team tend to hold it together.

pete eagle
01-07-2002, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Jaffa
Its to do with sport an early age though I think.

Most boys tend to play football when they are 5 upwards and so get co-ordination and things like vision at that early age. Some girls will play sport at that age but most wont. Hence my example.

We have girls at Lacrosse, who while they can catch and throw fairly reasonably they just cant spot killer passes and a lot of the time they dont have a mental toughness either and collapse under pressure. The men in the team tend to hold it together.

i think watching sport also helps, boys tend to do that a lot more than girls at an early age. But some girls do it as well, just not as many. Girls also tend to get distracted at age 12, boys tend to stick with it.

Jaffa
01-07-2002, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Ben H


Very harsh Jaffa

As my above post says, its not a gender issue per se, but more to do with sporting experience at an early age, and it is my experience boys tend to have more of this.

Girls can be good at certain sports, of that there is no question, but these are generally the ones who play tennis/netball etc at an early age rather than Barbie :rolleyes:

Trouble is, with a lot of schools ending competitive sport for fear of hurting poor johhny/jills feelings you have to fear for the future of English sport.

I say more competitive sport at school - not less.

the_next_matt_jansen
02-07-2002, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by Geezer
I really believe that if someone aged say 18/19, with a reasonable amount of ability, was given an intensive program of caoching over say 2/3months they would at least be able to hold thier own in the ryman.

Ooohhh, pick me, pick me!!!:p