West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Natural Talent

Now let's talk about a characteristic that only a few athletes are blessed with--"Natural Talent!"

Probably only one out of every 100 good athletes possesses this trait known as natural ability. In wrestling, we refer to it as "mat sense." This unique grappler just seems to have the skill to come out smelling like a rose, no matter how perilous his predicament during the match appeared to be. Although such natural talent in a matman is very frustrating to his worthy adversaries, there can also be some drawbacks to it as well.

First of all, these gifted athletes often become bored with drill work during workout sessions, and they can not understand why certain moves are so difficult for their teammates to learn.

Secondly, their coaches sometimes become upset with them because they don't seem to work as hard at practice as the rest of the squad does.

And finally, wrestlers with special talents must be cautious not to fall into the trap of "over-confidence," for it could easily lead to their downfall.

Indeed, it is a very trying task to defeat a hard-working, determined athlete with innate ability. Still, it can be done, especially if he becomes lax and takes his natural talent for granted. A similar scholastic analogy would be the gifted student who finds the going so easy in the classroom that he sees no need to study.

Without question, the athlete with natural ability is truly a difficult foe to conquer. But don't become too complacent--"Natural Talent"--for I have witnessed (time and again) your demise at the hands of "desire and determination!"

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Updated March 25, 1999