The roles of natural talent and training, and their relationships with achievement, form an important issue that is frequently discussed when individuals try to clarify the levels of attainment in various fields such as sport, art or music.
Education systems have instilled a belief that children can acquire skills in any discipline, such as sport, art or music, solely through training and learning. Indeed, there is much evidence to support the idea that through teaching and guided practice, a child can acquire these skills.
However, some believe that a person with innate talent differs from those who have been trained to play a musical instrument or sport, even from those who become good players. In other words, learning a technique is not the only factor in skill; and additional talent cannot be taught or trained, regardless of the teacher’s skill or the frequency of practice.
My personal opinion is that in some cases, talent may be genetically inherited. If individuals inherit these talents, they may excel in their respective discipline. Those students that dedicate themselves through hard work alone, without having inherited talent, would not be able to reach a comparable level.
However, innate talent and hard work are not mutually exclusive in terms of “nature versus nurture”. Exceptional musicians and sportsmen achieve success through a combination of natural talent and training. The absence of natural talent would simply have resulted in the training being neither attractive nor productive. Furthermore, an individual without talent would not be able to learn the methods of exploiting and developing their talents.
In conclusion, any child can be taught or trained in a specific skillset. However, in order to be exceptional in areas such as art or sport, natural talent is required in addition to training.