The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT

How a Common Belief May Destroy the Talented

Common belief is that all great athletes, musicians, artists, writers, and business minds are born with a gift of talent. Only a select few will be anointed to reach the coveted heights of mastery or stardom! Science says, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Maybe you have heard the story of the great Wolfgang Mozart, how he was born a music prodigy, he was born with perfect pitch that allowed him to hear the notes that only a he and few others could distinguish. But what you may not have heard about was how he worked tirelessly with his musician father who began training him full time at the age of four. So, the “gift” of talent may not be a gift of talent, but rather a by-product of his environment. He was from a family of musicians in a highly engaged environment to learn. This leads to the question, is talent a “gift?” The answer is yes and no. As far as research goes, according to Dr. Anders Ericsson, renowned expert on the science of expertise, the ability to develop is the “gift.” Nearly EVERYONE is born with this gift!  Where does this put the naturally talented or the prodigies? Well, those born with the advantage of genetics, if in the right environment, have a good chance of developing into a high achiever. Those “gifted” with great genetic makeup in a non-conducive environment may not achieve their full talent. 

As aspiring elite level golfers, we are faced with the question: If we are not born “gifted” with talent, is there a chance of becoming one of the best at golf? The answer is YES! Yes, you have a chance, most everyone has a chance to become highly “gifted.” Again, the “gift” according to Ericsson, is in the ability to develop. A genetic gift may be size, there are many people in the world that are tall, but few are elite basketball players. Without development, elite basketball players, elite golfers, musicians, writers, etc. would not be among the elite. If you have a passion or liking for something that allows you to engage in totality, your gifted ability to develop will likely allow you to reach an elite level. This is where the environment of a quality developmental pathway comes in. Coaching, honest feedback and playing experiences make the biggest difference in obtaining a high level of success. This does not exclude frustration, set-backs, industrious efforts and grit! These elements are important in developing into being one of the best.  

If you believe talent is the “gift” or the ability to develop is the “gift” give us a call. We are more than happy to discuss how we can help you reach your goals! The Golf Performance Center developed the 5 Elements of Success Principles to structure the right environment as well as create feedback loops as all the elements needed for success!