Natural Talent vs Deep Practice

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There is growing interest in how individual athletes achieve their potential and deliver performance at the highest level and all of the evidence points to deep and deliberate practice over natural talent.

Let’s start by asking what makes a world-champion? Natural talent? Well yes, many top athletes possess natural talent as a useful starting point but a quick look (see below) into the way top athletes train dispels any misconception that natural talent is much of a shortcut to world domination.

On the contrary, evidence shows that the way individuals practice skills and the amount of practice they do largely explains differences between top performers and others.

Practice makes perfect….. but only if you practice well. Many athletes train hard, practice daily, but that’s not enough to perfect skill. No matter how often or for how long you practice there no guarantee that you’ll be improving your skills. 10,000 hours is what is needed to build world class skills, right?

So, the more you practice and the more mistakes you make, the faster you learn and the better you get. It’s not that simple.

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Jason K


Ian regularly coaches my 14 year old daughter in cyclocross.

During each session he explains the purpose and goals for the session and how performance should improve. The sessions are varied and most importantly enjoyable. Ian regularly takes riders out of their comfort zones and this has allowed my daughter to make significant gains and helped increase her confidence. As a result she had several wins during the 2017 season.

Paul H


I have attended Ian’s cyclocross coaching sessions for the past 2 years. The sessions have just the right balance of technical skills and fitness training. You come away knowing that you have improved your skill base and been given a good workout.

The training is aimed at maximising your race performance with plenty of coach – rider feedback. Ian’s coaching sessions are hard, but they need to be if we are to improve. At the end of the session you have not only enjoyed yourself but you’ve learnt something as well. I would whole heartily recommend Ian for any cycle training sessions he is holding.

Gavin H

Ian has been my cyclocross coach for 2 years. The sessions are always taxing, this could be from a fitness or technical skills point of view and the training is always relevant to the goal of improving race performance, but most importantly they are always fun. Ian always listening to the riders feedback on the sessions and then adapts any future training to suit.
I have improved as a rider due to these coached training sessions and can 100% recommend Ian as a coach.