Jeronimo wrote:...There is no group of super athletically elect that trump the rest of the world...
I see your point, but I only partly agree. I think you have to spend time with pros from some of the elite sports, and you'll find that there is something extraordinary in almost
all of them. They are literally almost
all freaks of nature. (There are a few exceptions, people who work extremely hard and get to the pros, but even they still have a little special something). I know we take it for granted, and watching them on TV doesn't do them any justice at all. Going to the live games, and seeing it for yourself, is always an amazing experience if you can comprehend the speed and coordination involved in their performances.
And then there are the athletes that are just so far out there, who rise above and beyond even the field of top players, to become historical figures, true legends. I think you'll have a difficult time convincing anyone that guys like Jim Thorpe, Pelé, Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, etc., didn't have buttloads of almost super-natural physical talent. Of course they worked extremely hard to gain skills, and had mental talent for devotion to their game, but when they put the work into it, they got much larger returns than ordinary folks and became the best of the best, ever!
The same is true of other human traits. For example, some people simply aren't as intellectually talented as others. It doesn't mean that people can't learn sophisticated subjects and utilize their knowledge in clever ways, even if they're not a super-genius. It just means that they have to work many times harder to get the same return as somebody for whom all of it is just a cakewalk.
Another obvious example is musical talent. Examples of individuals supremely talented at musical arts are too well-known to even require citation.
And guess what? If you aren't a super-talented athlete, or a super-talented intellectual, etc., then you will never really understand what it is like to be one. You can't know. There really is no point in trying to equate them with ordinary souls. They will usually present modesty, but under the veneer of civility is the truth that some of us are simply physically awkward and/or mentally dull in comparison to those who are naturally gifted. It's as simple as that.
People who are ordinary, but who are led to believe that they can be as smart as anyone else, or as athletically accomplished as any athlete, if only they work hard enough, are being led astray. Many feel perpetually guilty that their lack of success owes to a moral failing, laziness, etc., when oftentimes it is simply that they don't have the capacity that some others possess for achievement in the pursuit in question. That doesn't mean that people shouldn't try to excel in doing whatever they love, or that laziness should be excused as lack of talent. It just means that most of us have limits that a few don't have.
In disc golf, there is already a difference in natural talent. I just watched Avery bombing a few throws at DeLa this evening, and while there is no question that he has worked incredibly hard to gain those skills, I think he still qualifies as one of those people who are simply well above the standard deviation of natural athletic skill. I sincerely doubt that I could ever throw as big, even if I put in the same amount of work as Avery has done. The same goes for his sister, who could be on her way to becoming the first ever 1000-rated female player (that would be awesome!).
Feldberg is a tenacious pug, and probably qualifies as somebody who has achieved greatness in his sport by a good supply of guts, grit, and gumption. We always exclaim that he doesn't have a good golfer's mentality (he gets rattled, rushes into situations, has huge emotional swings, gets on hot/cold streaks, etc.), yet he shoots amazing scores. He just doesn't want to lose to anyone, uber-intensely competitive.
Young guns like McBeth, Leviska, Billings, Ulibari, Locastro, etc., make a lot of youthful mental mistakes. They're trying to shoot the perfect round all the time, they just don't always know when it's wise to lay up and take a lump. They don't see their limitations (although this can sometimes be a useful characteristic in driving them to excellence, in golf games it can also be a liability). They'll shoot lights-out for 1-2 rounds in a long tournament, then take a huge hit because they get into a slump and try to muscle their way out, making things worse instead of riding out by shooting solid safe rounds.
Nate Doss says he wins by playing consistently strong rounds, not by shooting course records. He admits that he can't usually break course records. Instead, he has adopted a fantastic golf mentality, and it shows.
Then there are guys like Josh Anthon. I've never seen anyone shoot like Josh when he is on one of his hot streaks. It is simply unbelievable. Here is a guy of insanely huge natural talent, and who has worked very hard to gain disk skills. He just needs to figure out how to break through for the big wins, but unless he can devote more time to the effort, he might not get over the summit.
Ken Climo is much older than these guys, but when you see him play there is no question that the game comes much easier to him. He is relaxed, when others would be nervous. He shrugs it off when others are kicking their bags. And he is making great golf shots constantly. He is easy going, has an athletic frame and stance, and is truly on another plane. For years he only had to play hard enough to beat the guy in 2nd place, and that's how his demeanor seems. Like the guys running in a race ahead of you, slowing down every once in a while to let you catch up and think you have a chance, but then turning on the after burner and cruising well ahead, with seeming ease. The only young kid out there who seems to have all the traits (physical, mental, emotional) as Ken Climo at a young age is Will Schusterick. He's my current pick for "next Ken Climo."