Question: What is talent? How do you define it?

Although genetic testing is now available to determine talent, not everyone has access to it. Many parents, coaches, and others are often confused and worried about whether a child should pursue sports or not. This is an attempt to help them understand what it takes to become a sports person and how talent can play a role in achieving it. While being talented can be helpful, it does not guarantee success, but it can make the process enjoyable and easier.

A natural sportsman has two basic aspects:

a) Their musculoskeletal system – their body and how it reacts to specific movements.

b) Their mind – how it leverages the natural movements of their body.

Question 1: How does one identify a talent?

Identifying a talent can be as simple as observing a child who is natural at certain movements, better than any other child in their age group. This can be observed in any setting, such as watching a group of kids playing sports.

Question 2: How do we identify which sport a child is most suited to?

Identifying the sport a child is most suited to can be a bit more complex, and may require the help of an expert. However, a simpler approach for parents is to observe whether the child is strong in:

a) Leg movements (quick on their feet) – suited for athletics, football, etc. b) Swing movements (such as arm swings) – suited for golf, tennis, badminton, baseball, etc. c) Both leg and swing movements – suited for any sport that the child takes to naturally.

It is also worth exposing the child to a variety of sports, as this can enhance their capabilities and help make a decision based on factors such as talent, coaching availability, and proximity to facilities.

Question 3: How do we decide if we should put our child in a specific sport?

If a child demonstrates good biomechanics and appears fundamentally correct in the movements of a particular sport, then it may be worth considering putting them in that sport. Additionally, if the child appears to be better than their peers in terms of movement, speed, balance, or agility, this may also indicate a good fit for that sport. Ultimately, it is important to consider the child’s interests and level of enjoyment in the sport, as well as any potential limitations such as availability of coaching or facilities.

Question 4 – assuming talent is identified then what’s the assurance the child will make it to the top?

There is no guarantee that a child will make it to the top even if they have talent. For example, if someone is born with good health but eats junk food from an early age, their genetics will not preserve their health.

Similarly, talent provides a natural circuitry pathway that needs to be strengthened through hard work to achieve success. A talent only ensures the following:

a) Appropriate structure – muscle/tendon ratio; fast twitch to slow twitch (suiting the sport) fiber ratio, size of muscle bellies, circuitry pathway with myelin sheath (more than others)

b) CNS & brain to handle all the afferent and efferent signaling flawlessly and faster with hormonal balance & health in general.

c) Mind to process the instructions faster since it comes naturally to a talent.

All these factors create a talent and make them identifiable. However, one has to work towards making a talent sharper. It doesn’t come on its own. Just like we see several natural talented young kids disappear in the world as they grow older; one needs work to sustain competition regardless of their talent.

Having said that, it’s a lot easier for a talent to groom. Why? Because everything comes to them naturally. Every exercise, any movement, any instructions (to decipher)…literally everything will come naturally to them.


A natural fast bowler doesn’t need instructions for loading, jumping, or landing. He would be loaded with basics.

Or a badminton player would be naturally good with lunges and elastic spine.

Or a tennis player would be blessed with required stamina.

Meera who has never received any formal training in sports. However, when you observe her movements and tricks to balance and move forward, you can tell that she has a natural talent for sports. Even though it’s not her primary interest or focus, her movements indicate that she has the basic physical abilities of a sports person.

Another example – check the swing of the arm in the end. She learnt it first time and she could throw it with perfection (that I struggle to teach my athletes do it) in 4 throws.