Richard Moore on an illuminating book that challenges the notion that in sport, practice matters more than innate talent”The more I practise, the luckier I get,” said the golfer Gary Player, giving birth to one of sport’s most famous aphorisms, one that is cherished by the world’s most driven athletes, their coaches and, perhaps dangerously in some cases, their parents.It is easy to see why it is so appealing. Because although the quote’s origins are disputed – arguments have been made for Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and others – its meaning is not. Player didn’t mean lucky, he meant better: “The more I practise, the better I get.”Up to a point. Where that point is, indeed, whether it exists at all, is at the heart of the nature-nurture debate as it applies to sport. And yet it would be wrong to describe it as a debate; that would imply balance. Instead, the discussion has seemed as one-sided as a basketball game between giants and dwarves. Nurture has been winning, hands down – even as the inevitable outcome of the imaginary basketball game points to some flaws in the argument. The notion that practice matters more than innate talent – in …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books