Many things in life especially sport, require either heart, skill or both. Many will argue that having natural skill is better than having heart and the determination. But for me having the ability to keep on going and never give up is a cut above raw talent. When you compare it to sports stars its starts to paint a clearer picture. we will take a look at a few examples from a different range of sports, but the beauty of this topic is that most people have different opinions and a few still sit on the fence.
TENNIS- Hewitt vs Kyrgios
Two completely different players, Two completely different attitudes, Two completely different era’s. Both Australian.
Hewitt- Known for his never give up attitude, Lleyton ran for every ball and was one of the best players ever for digging his heels in and not letting the more skilful, powerful players overcome him. Hewitt had bags of talent but was better known for his hard work and determination rather than his skill. This mind-set resulted in him being number 1 in the world and winning 2 single majors titles.
Kyrgios- Nick is one of the games most naturally gifted players but one of the most frustrating to watch. Kyrgios can beat the top players in the game but his negative attitude and lack of self drive is resulting in him not fulfilling his maximum potential. He could go right to the top if he worked harder and threw less tantrums. If he had Hewitt’s attitude what a player he would be. If you had 1 spot left, Who would you choose to be in your Davis Cup Team?
BOXING – Tyson vs Douglas
Tyson- Arguably the best boxer of all time and one of the most powerful punchers on the planet with a record of 50 wins 44 by knockout, a staggering 90% by knockout! Mike Tyson was undefeated going into the fight in Tokyo 1990, and was the firm favourite to win the bout. He had all the talent, speed, power, reputation and was hands down a much better fighter than Douglas but turned up expecting to win. In this case his attitude towards training and a self arrogance lead him to his first defeat.
Douglas- Almost everyone assumed that the bout was going to be another quick knockout for the champion. No challenger had taken Tyson beyond the fifth round since 1987. Many thought it was just an easy tune-up for Tyson. With Douglas being such an underdog most casinos refused to give odds but one that did had him at a whopping price of 42-1 ! Buster Douglas’ Mother passed away 23 days before the fight and this was the motivation he used to win, after being knocked down by Tyson, Buster got back up and shook up the world as he knocked an ‘unbeatable’ Iron Mike Tyson. A great statement of hard work determination and the will to never give up.
No debate about natural skill vs talent would be complete without these two guys. Don’t get me wrong both have worked incredibly hard but yet Ronaldo’s work rate is one of the best the world has ever seen. Both legends of the sport, who’s your favourite?
Ronaldo- Arriving in Manchester where most of us first laid eyes on Ronaldo all we saw was a young skinny Potugese boy, with fast feet an amazing talent to dribble past defenders, but his end product was still not there, he would often go for some type of skill instead of the simple pass and his physical presence was not of that today, but with the mentoring skills of Sir Alex Ferguson and a lot of hardwork in the gym and training pitch, Ronaldo has transformed into one of the greatest players to grace the game. From a young age coming from a small town in Maderia where he was told he would never make it, too having a heart operation, Cristiano Ronaldo overcame the odds with his determination and extremely high self belief in the fact that everything he does he needs to be the best.
Messi- Lionel Messi is also one of the greatest players we have had the privilege to watch over the years and is no doubt one of the best natural born talented players, if not the best. Having been given Growth hormones at Barcelona as he was so small, Messi has also had to train hard so this argument isn’t the fiercest, but more the fact that if you had to compare the two, you would say Messi is a natural athlete, Ronaldo is more trained. Having said that, more importantly than arguing who has more heart, skill or determination lets just sit back and enjoy these 2 legends for however many more years they decide to grace our football pitches.
Written by Chris MacDonald