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The Dilemma Of Success: Are Good Athletes Born Or Made?

The dilemma that comes second to the endless chicken and egg debate is that of success.

Public speakers, former athletes, sports patrons and debaters have often argued over the notion: are athletes born or made?

Some names that instantly come to mind are LeBron James and Michael Phelps. One wonders whether to attribute their successes to their genes or call their accomplishments a reward of hard work.

The answer is: there is no absolute answer.

Here are some interesting revelations about the dilemma of success.

Athletic Genes

Those who claim that hard work, determination and practice are the only three things that made athletes become the names we know today are discounting the importance of nature.

It is not hard to believe that sportsmen training for the same amount of time don’t all turn out famous athletes.

It is also true that not everyone with the same talent will emerge equally successful. This is in part because of different levels of determination and effort put into polishing their talent.

Effort, Practice, and Learning

Research by Jowett and Spray (2013) has shown that you need a lot more

than sheer talent to polish your skills and add credibility to your performance. Popular players in this century can serve as examples of this phenomenon turned into reality.

Anyone who is faintly aware of the sports culture is familiar with the names Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Considered the top-class football players that are ranked highest worldwide, they serve as apt icons for exemplifying the argument.

A brief study of their history reveals factors that mostly contributed to their success today. Owing to their love for the sport, they had been playing football since the age of 5. At 12 years of age, they joined European Youth Football Academy and trained there. They maintained a code of discipline in following their practices and trainings regularly.

How Practice Helped Hone/Combat Innate Qualities

Ronaldo’s former Manager and goalkeeper attest to the unfaltering discipline that kept him going until he became what he wanted. He was the first to be seen on the field and the last to leave on practice days. Success didn’t stop him from training either because he knew the value of practice. He still trains to become the best at the game and go beyond everyone’s expectations.

To defend the argument about nurture, there is no better example than Messi. Even though he was gifted, he also had growth hormone deficiency which was an innate problem inhibiting his potential.

FC Barcelona was the only club willing and able to cover Messi’s medical expenses and put its faith in his abilities. If it was not for their support and his perseverance, he wouldn’t be the Messi we know today!

These personalities are enough examples for us to evaluate the dilemma of success. Talent and natural abilities are the license to get into the industry. But practice and training are the tools of survival needed to deal with the pressure and competition.

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