My experience is that many more readers find internet advice as lurkers using search engines than the OPs. I like to address the OP and counter discouraging advice for their sake.Um, everybody knows that this thread was a drive-by on the part of the OP, right? He came here 2+ years ago, asked his question, and never came back. I mean, you can keep arguing with yourselves if you want, but it's not helping the OP.
Dunno about Ruth. But I've thought a lot about more modern cases like Roger Federer and Michael Jordan. 0.1% talent and effort, at least. It's rare to encounter students or athletes with true 0.1% talent. But I like to encourage them that if they add top 0.1% effort to that, they can likely have 1 in a million accomplishments and outcomes. Otherwise, they may just end up a Dennis Rodman equivalent.@Dr. Courtney , what do you think of cases like Babe Ruth, who was so far ahead of everyone else? Top 0.1% talent and effort? He did start playing very early.
But I also advise folks to work harder in areas with more demand and less supply of hard workers. There are way more athletes hoping for college tennis and basketball scholarships than will ever get them. In states like GA with the Hope/Zell Miller scholarship program, 10 extra hours a week on out of class academics is much more likely to get an academic scholarship than 10 extra hours a week on hoops or tennis. Average intelligence and top 10% of effort is about what it takes.