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Do you think if you work hard enough you can be the best...

(29 Posts)
hippoherostandinghere Mon 08-Apr-19 14:40:57

Or will you always be limited by physical capabilities?

Let me try and explain what I mean, I'm going to use my DS as an example.
DS is both underweight and small for his age. He is 10 and weighs 3st 10. He plays a lot of football and is very fit, never out of breath, he's a good runner. But I've noticed that the boys in his class that are a good bit taller than him always have that physical edge, they'll beat him on sports day etc.

So do you think it's possible, if you train hard, to be quicker than your peers who have the physical edge. Or are some body types better at sprinting while others are better at long distance running?

Do you think it's possible to tell yourself I'm going to train to be the best at this (insert anything here) and work at it until you are. Or are some people just natural talented in some areas?

Gingernaut Mon 08-Apr-19 14:44:22

You have to find your niche.

You may love something and want to do it as a vocation or career, but if you're more suited to another sport, career, pastime or hobby, you will have to accept that you may not be 'the best'.

Oysterbabe Mon 08-Apr-19 14:44:43

You can become very good at anything with a lot of hard work but you'll never be better than someone who has also worked hard and has the right physique for it.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:48:15

Our physicality plays enormously into how successful any of us can be at certain sports. Champion swimmers are tall, lean, and have big hands and feet. Champion gymnasts are very petite with short muscles that are highly developed. I am 6 feet tall. I could never, ever be a world class gymnast, no matter how much I practice. We can try as hard as we can and practice every day, all day, but if we don't have the necessary physicality and natural ability, we can only progress so far. But there's nothing wrong with having limitations, we all have them.

Strokethefurrywall Mon 08-Apr-19 14:49:38

Your muscles are either fast twitch or slow twitch and these determine whether you're better at sprinting than distance running.

As I grew up, I was always a very fast sprinter and had power over short distances (despite being slight and skinny). As I got older, I probably still have that power over a short distance but I trained myself to run long distances.
I probably hold a 9-10 minute mile over long distances but no amount of training is going to get me to hold a 7 minute mile over a half marathon distance, no matter what I do.

That being said, keep training, keep aiming high, keep at it and you'll always retain the grit and determination to propel you forward. And that's in all areas of life, not just physically. Yes, natural ability has a huge advantage in the early years, but natural ability can be wasted and not nurtured at all. Determination and sheer bloody-mindedness will get you places (look at Eddie The Eagle!)

FraAngelico Mon 08-Apr-19 14:49:45

You can become very good at anything with a lot of hard work but you'll never be better than someone who has also worked hard and has the right physique for it.

This. My husband was a very talented youth footballer, but was simply too short to make it past the academy stage once it became clear he was going to be a short adult. A long-legged fast runner will be faster than a short fast runner.

McT123 Mon 08-Apr-19 14:52:43

My husband was a very talented youth footballer, but was simply too short to make it past the academy stage once it became clear he was going to be a short adult. A long-legged fast runner will be faster than a short fast runner.
Lionel Messi - possibly the greatest footballer ever - is 5'6"...

MitziK Mon 08-Apr-19 14:52:57

That's why they have weight divisions in some sports. And different distances, etc.

He's little and fast. When he's older, he'll likely still be shorter (although he could have a massive growth spurt, you never can tell), but with more muscle and his natural speed.

He might change to a different sport and find he's brilliant at it - think of Rugby, for example - yes, you get these massive man-mountains playing, but you also have much shorter powerhouses in scrums or flying up the sides, making the chances that others just can't. (Obviously from my phrasing, it's clear I have very limited knowledge of Rugby, but I can see the obvious physical differences in a team). Hockey players are often smaller. Ice Hockey players, not so much, although some of that could be due to the padding making it harder to see.

Even in the England football teams (another non specialty subject of mine), you'd have lanky players like Peter Crouch, not particularly tall or big players like David Beckham, stocky ones like Wayne Rooney and little, fast ones like Michael Owen, all working together to not be quite as shit as we'd been previously win more than in the years since the 1960s.

Brazilian players aren't all massive. Rowing Teams aren't all huge. It's not the tallest boxer that always wins.

There are physical limitations - but being the Best You Can is easily achievable.

hippoherostandinghere Mon 08-Apr-19 14:53:11

I find this all so interesting. Dd is talented at gymnastics. She small and lean and it really works in her favour.

I have had several comments that DS will be a very talented footballer when he fills out and grows a bit. But realistically he is not destined to be a tall adult so this will impact him to some extent.

FraAngelico Mon 08-Apr-19 14:56:12

DH is shorter than that, McT, and wasn't a natural forward. And he came of age in a country with a far less diverse set of ideas about the variety of footballing physiques.

CoffeeConnoisseur Mon 08-Apr-19 14:56:14

Not only in sport but in all areas there will sometimes be people who have a natural flair or talent who will be better than everyone else regardless of how hard they’ve worked, studied, practised, etc.

So in answer to you question, not always, no.

hippoherostandinghere Mon 08-Apr-19 14:58:48

We always encourage them both just to be they best they are capable of. I believe mindset is a big part of it too and whilst DD is quietly confident mostly poor DS is lacking in self esteem.

Some people just have the perfect package.

corythatwas Mon 08-Apr-19 14:59:01

My dd, who has a chronic joint condition, is doing her training in Physical Theatre. She knows perfectly well there will be things she will never be able to do at all and other things she will not be able to do as well as her non-disabled peers. Her job is to work out ways to compensate: to think how she can strengthen the body she has and make it work for her to the best of its ability. And to accept that there will be limitations to what she can achieve.

My nephew is currently at a very prestigious European conservatoire: he says cheerfully that all the others are more gifted than him "but that just means I have to work harder". He doesn't think this will necessarily make him "the best": he just wants to be as good as he can.

But these are adults. Your ds is 10. There is no knowing what his body will look like after puberty. My ds was the tiny underweight runt of the class, painfully thin. At 18 he is well over 6 foot, does weight-lifting, and once in playfighting lifted a friend over his head. And though he never got picked for a football team in primary he now gets together with a bunch of friends and plays football for fun once a week. It is not going to be his career but that doesn't make it any less valuable.

SD1978 Mon 08-Apr-19 15:06:11

Nope. I don't agree with this. Whilst training will absolutely improve you, without natural aptitude, you're never going to be the best. You can be your best, and if you enjoy something that should be enough, but working hard, even studying hard, will only get you so far.

ShabbyAbby Mon 08-Apr-19 15:13:15

Depends what it is

Ihatehashtags Mon 08-Apr-19 15:22:02

Training and hard work can make you better but some people will always be smarter, faster and better than you. That’s life.

WinterHeatWave Mon 08-Apr-19 15:22:50

Very, very few people can be "the best". But you can certainly make yourself the best you can.

He does sound very slight - and I say that as a mother of a just 10 yr old who is impossible to buy trousers for, and is wearing age 7 shorts for school currently.....

darceybussell Mon 08-Apr-19 15:29:48

I think to an extent, and in some sports, it's possible to do it by working harder than everyone else. Andre Agassi's father had decided he would be a champion tennis player before he was born, and then he trained him hard as a child (he trained him so hard, from such a young age, that I suspect it would now constitute child abuse). And lo and behold, he became a champion tennis player. He hated tennis all his life. But he couldn't really give it up because it was all he knew from being a small child.

juneau Mon 08-Apr-19 15:31:34

When it comes to sports it's never a level playing field, particularly when you're talking about kids, because they all grow and develop at different times. So your DS is small and underweight, but other kids his age, who he plays football with and runs against on sports day will be taller than him, have longer legs and a longer stride, more power in their bigger muscles, etc. But generally, I would say that the harder you work at something, the better you'll get. Natural advantages will only take you so far if you don't work hard to develop your skill.

AProphecyForAFantasy Mon 08-Apr-19 15:35:33

No, you can't be the absolute best by effort alone: a good dollop of natural talent is needed.

However, you can be the best that you can be by effort alone. And that, in itself, is something to be massively proud of smile

RomanyQueen1 Mon 08-Apr-19 15:36:40

If you find something you are good at and practice then you will be as good as you're going to be.

If you put in more effort at something you already excel at, then you will be even better.

I think physical fitness, size, shape and weight can make a difference.

Friends child auditioned for a ballet school, could it be associates? Anyway, they had to send photos of their girl and themselves.
She didn't get in even though meeting the audition requirements.
Right height and weight, but her parents aren't.

Halloumimuffin Mon 08-Apr-19 15:39:31

I mean, Messi is a very unique example, in that he was stunted as a child and was given growth hormones, I believe paid for by a football club because he had shown such ability. I can't imagine this happens often. More often you hear of Michael Phelps, physically built with ridiculously long arms, or Usain Bolt. There is a reason all athletes have different physiques.

PinkHeart5914 Mon 08-Apr-19 15:41:36

No I don’t!

You can work as hard as you want but that won’t make you the best. Make you a trier yes but with sport you either have a natural talent for it or you don’t.

Also with sport body size is relevant

thecatsthecats Mon 08-Apr-19 15:46:03

Put very crudely, for both physical and intellectual prowess, we can only be the sum of our aptitude and effort.

If overall competence is /10, a 1/5 for aptitude can only ever become a 6/10, if they give 5/5 for effort.

Physical competence is a much easier place in which to have this debate though - people are incredibly defensive about intellect being limited in the same way.

edwinbear Mon 08-Apr-19 15:47:35

DS is 9 and also 3st 10. He is the shortest in his year and also the youngest (26th Aug born). He is both a fast sprinter (wins all the sports day short distance races) and talented cross country runner, currently competing and often winning a year up in inter schools meets - he is undefeated in his own year group. He trains very hard, between running, rugby and swimming he is doing around 15 hours of sport a week. DH is a runner, as was his father, so undoubtedly there is something genetic there, but at this age, I think it's just down to effort and a lot of training. How that pans out as he, and his peers grow and hit puberty at different times is to be seen, but for now, it's down to effort in my view.

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