TAGGED UNDER: Adventure & Sports

Matthew Syed puts the case for effort over talent

Raleigh Addington
Raleigh Addington
editor at Chartwell Speakers

On BBC Radio Four’s Four Thought, the writer and former GB table tennis champion, Matthew Syed made an excellent case for why we shouldn’t overemphasize the importance of talent over effort.

As he also states in his book, Bounce, he believes that everyone’s brain begins from the same starting point and that it depends on how much effort we put in, alongside the context and exposure to different skills, that make the difference in setting out who is good at table tennis or maths. Matthew argues that the idea of excellence being primarily (or exclusively) delivered by natural talent/genetic inheritance is seductive but that it’s, at best, misleading, and, at worst, destructive. As students around the country prepare for GCSEs, A-Levels and university exams, it’s an interesting thought.