Talent vs Hardwork

Hey i was wondering what you guys think of this topic. I have heard many people say numerous things. Do you guys think talent is more important than hardwork or other way around. I have heard stories about kids with no talent throwing 60mph in Sophomore high school and ended up being 98mph power pitcher. I am not sure if it true what do you guys think about this topic?

Great topic. I gave a talk on this subject last year at a middle school in Chicago.

I think working hard at what your talented in is what’s most important. But the key is finding what it actually is that you’re talented in.

Here’s what I mean:

If I, for example, at 6’3" 215 pounds, worked my tail off at basketball as hard as I did for baseball, would I have become a professional basketball player? No way. I’m not naturally talented in basketball, I’m definitely not tall enough to play at the higher levels of the game and I certainly can’t jump high enough. No matter how hard I would have worked at hoops, it wouldn’t have amounted to much of anything other than some enjoyment of playing the game.

On the other hand, I realized at 12 or 13 years old that I could throw the ball a little harder than most kids. I was able to spot it a little bit better, too. So I worked hard at it because I was actually talented at it – and was later drafted a couple of times.

My point is this: hard work is paramount to success… BUT, only if its directed toward things in life that you have a natural proclivity (talent) in. For me it was pitching. For someone else, it may be outfield, shortstop or coaching. The key is finding out where you have some talents – because we all have special talents.

That’s why I encourage younger players up until the age of 15, 16 to play a lot of different positions on the field, to play other sports throughout different times of the year. That way, you can find out where you’re talented. If you’re locked into pitching, for example, as 8 years old and do nothing else, you may not have the opportunity to find out if that’s the position that you’re best at.