When Talent Can Hinder Your Performance

Sounds crazy, but sometimes it can, but not for the reasons you may think at first blush.

Talented people in any pursuit have one thing in common. If they ‘know’ they are good they will more often than not under prepare. If they don’t ‘know’, some will over prepare stifling the talent portion for pure adherence to mechanics. In other words, they don’t allow the flow (aka talent) to be realized in their endeavors.  A lot of very talented people also do something far too often. They rely too much on their talent, and procrastinate or just never work on any self improvement believing they can pull rabbits out of the air when needed. They do this because they’ve done it so many times before. More often than not, this continually reinforces itself because most stay within their comfort zone. But once they find themselves in a situation out of the so-called comfort level, the talent shows itself to be not enough, and they falter, or choke.

The hardest point to get across to the talented individual is the concept of basic fundamental improvements. That’s because the talented person believes they have the basics mastered. They reason, if they didn’t, how could they be so talented? And there lies the quagmire.

Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics years back was arguably one of the best shooters in basketball. However, not only was he good, he was good when he needed to be. When everything was on the line. Why? Was it because of talent? Sure it was but was that all of it? Larry I believe knew that he was talented. But unlike most of his day, Larry was always to be found out on the court hours before any game shooting baskets when only the cleaning crew was around. No coaches, no other team mates, just himself most of the time. He didn’t rely on just his talent to get him through his games, he lived, and breathed the fundamentals. He became so proficient in shooting that when he was asked to do a commercial for a soft drink, and the skit was for him to miss a shot he couldn’t! He was so wired from practicing that there were stories about the camera crew laughing because it took him more than a few throws to miss.

When you rely on your talent alone, and the time comes to make the big shot or what ever needs to be accomplished, you want your fundamentals to be as much a part of you as your talent. You always want to have a “success game plan” running even when you’re not trying or thinking about it. This is when it becomes “you”, just as much as your talent, and the two together can produce incredible results. But if you rely on talent, and talent alone, you’re more than likely to choke in the big game of life.


© 2011 Mark St.Cyr   All Rights Reserved