Ah, the old nature vs nurture debate.
First of all, let me say that whatever I say next, I see that this book has given you some sort of new found self-confidence. It's not my intention to knock that self-confidence in any way, this is just my opinion.
Back to the topic...
I've had many conversations on, and thought about this topic a number of times. Is it possible for anyone to be the best in the world given the right amount of training and preperation?
Can little Jimmy Jones who can't even kick a ball in a straight line be turned into the next Lionel Messi, given the best training facilities that money can buy?
Well, in my humble opinion...
Let's continue to use football as an example to explain why.
Obviously, there are players in the world that the vast majority of people know about, whether they like football or not. The likes of Pele, Maradona, Ronaldinho, Messi, etc. These players are all examples of people born with natural talent. They've never really needed to train to be as good as the better players, but it's that extra training that makes them the very best at what they do.
Players like these can do, at the age of 8 or 9, what many professional players can't do after years and years of training.
So it's obvious that the ability that they have in their youth was never taught to them.
They have a natural understanding of weight, movement and timing that most people can only learn through years of experience with trial and error. They instinctively know how a ball will react if it's hit in a certain way, and more importantly in this case, they have the physical ability to control their bodies effectively enough to influence the ball in a way that most people simply don't understand. The phrase 'You can't teach that', really does apply to some people and the way that they play sometimes.
On the other hand...
Now clearly, not every single proffesional football player in the world is born with as much natural talent as the players listed above.
There are some examples of other players, such as Frank Lampard, who is one of the best players in the world at the moment. One of my best friends went to the same school as him, and it's widely known that he wasn't a good player at all when he was younger. However, his father is a former professional player, so it would have been easy for him to get all of the best training facilities and advice that he needed to get into professional football.
Someone like Frank Lampard is an example of what a person can do with years and years of hard work, training and commitment in football. The more he plays, the more he learns, the better he gets until he reaches his peak age, and his physical abilities begin to decline.
However, someone like Lampard is also just a player in a team. He can do his role, but he needs other people around him to help him do the things that he's not good at. While he may have developed his passing, positional and shooting skills, he struggles with anything beyond that. Basically, put him in a world class team, and he's a world class player. Put him in an average team, and he'll struggle.
Players who are born with natural talent are world class players whether they're in an average team or a world class team. They're the kind of players who can 'win matches on their own', and they usually keep their skills and technique even after years and years without training.
So essentially, I believe that you can train the average Jimmy Jones to be a 9 out of 10 player if he really, really wants it, but he'll never be the 10 out of 10 player that the very best are, even in their youth.
Another example is with computer games.
I personally have found that I have a natural ability when it comes to FPS's. Sure, there are players who are better than me (well, I might find one one day... lol!), but there are also players who just can't play an FPS at all.
They can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
If they're concentrating on moving around without bumping into a wall, they're aiming at the sky or their feet. If they're concentrating on aiming correctly, they've stopped moving. They almost never have a clue where they are on the map, and they just don't have a clue when it comes to anticipating where other people are. They basically have almost zero spatial ability and cannot multi-task.
That's why some gamers only like slow paced, strategic, single player games and some people only like competitive multi player games.
because most people think in different ways, and in reality, part of human nature is that we need each other to achieve our goals.
Everyone has a role that they fit into, and a speciality that they are naturally good at.
The athletes aren't generally the best thinkers and the the thinkers aren't generally the best athletes.
It's a natural, almost 'rock, paper, scissors', type balance that helps us work together and become stronger.
Anyway, my point is that, I don't think that any amount of training and hard work can teach people to do what some people can do without thinking.
Does that mean that some people will never be able to some things?
But there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with saying 'I'll never be the best [whatever] in the world'. Telling people otherwise might sell books, but I think that the world around us proves otherwise.