Have you heard this statement before, “This kid has talent,” maybe even it was said about you. Now, to be honest, do you actually know what that means? According to the Oxford dictionary, talent is a capacity for achievement or, shows ability to be good at something, a knack or gift for doing something. Typically, this is what many parents will say about one’s son or daughter when they are watching their kid experience something for a few times. It almost doesn’t matter what it is, but what does it mean?
When someone utters the words, this kid has talent, it can be one of the greatest things to hear and one of the scariest things, depending on whether you are the one being labeled as talented. When you are labeled “talented,” you, or he or she, has the burden to bear proof to everyone they are worthy of this label. The cool thing about you or other kids, is that you all have a capacity to achieve something or exhibit talent. Give a kid a few minutes without interference from anyone and they will be able to figure out most anything, and have the “gift” of talent to do it. Give a kid a bat, ball, puzzle, golf club, box or an Ipad, and they will use their curiosity or ingenuity to figure out what to do with it. They just do! Remember when you were a kid, think about all the things you used to figure out without someone else’s help. Once you have learned how something worked you begin learning the skills necessary to improve how to use it. As you become more proficient at those skills it becomes easier and easier until someone says, wow, you are talented or gifted, you are going to be the next______, an All-Star! From there it all changes. The relationship to something you find curious, interesting, and liked, now is something you must do for amusement or vocation for others. Talent alone is an overrated label of an innate ability for the capacity to achieve.
Talent alone is just as the dictionary attempts to define, a knack or gift to achieve something, but it takes much more than talent alone to accomplish something. Having capacity for math is great, but learning the skills to apply the knack of figuring out math is a more complicated matter. In golf parents often turn a gift or knack for figuring out how to swing the club to hit a ball on the ground into, they will be the next so and so on tour or receive a full-ride scholarship to University of Florida in 10 years! Hold up, not so fast!
For talent and skills to develop in a systematic way or according to nature, you and everyone who shows talent needs another ingredient, athleticism. To fully exploit the talent and skills someone possesses it takes physical qualities such as strength, speed, power and agility to improve the capacity of achievement. Once these things are combined, you will hear the word athlete, you are or he or she is an athlete who plays golf, and can do so well because they possess the athleticism to build greater capacity to acquire skills needed to play at their highest and best level. Like any great athlete, author or musician, there is no escaping the magnitude of work necessary to achieve greatness. No one has achieved greatness on just talent, no was born great. We all were, it just depends on how, when and where you spend your time.
If you spend your time discovering your talent, building the skills necessary to apply your “gift” while developing your athleticism to acquire more skills for your talent and the mindset of growth, you will develop a passion for your talents and begin to overcome the setbacks of learning, developing the grit to endure short term failures for the sake of achieving something greater than you probably could imagine!
Enjoy your Journey!