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Katie

Naturals at wrestling

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Famous soccer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was once asked whether he thought Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo was better. (For those of you who don’t know, since 2007, Messi and Ronaldo have consistently been named among the top three players in the world, and have together taken the top spot 12 out of 14 years.)

Ibrahimovic said that Messi was better because he is a natural, whereas Ronaldo is a trained product.

Do you buy into that distinction? If so, who are some of the naturals at wrestling out there?

Edited by Katie

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15 minutes ago, Katie said:

Famous soccer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was once asked whether he thought Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo was better. (For those of you who don’t know, since 2007, Messi and Ronaldo have consistently been named among the top three players in the world, and have together taken the top spot 12 out of 14 years.)

Ibrahimovic said that Messi was better because he is natural, whereas Ronaldo is a trained product.

Do you buy into that distinction? If so, who are some of the naturals at wrestling out there?

No bc the distinction is too often associated with racist stereotypes.

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Katie - some people are certainly more naturally predisposed to certain physical movements and in some cases, those natural gifts make them a natural fit in a specific modern sport. Major League Baseball pitchers have, on average, hyper mobility in their joints which allows them to throw the ball much harder than someone without that gift. MLB hitters, on average, have tremendous eyesight. This is a widely understood prerequisite for being a great hitter. 

Hard work is the path to greatness and in the modern era, there are only a few natural gifts that can't be equaled through hard work - height, natural testosterone production and mental makeup. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Katie said:

Famous soccer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was once asked whether he thought Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo was better. (For those of you who don’t know, since 2007, Messi and Ronaldo have consistently been named among the top three players in the world, and have together taken the top spot 12 out of 14 years.)

Ibrahimovic said that Messi was better because he is natural, whereas Ronaldo is a trained product.

Do you buy into that distinction? If so, who are some of the naturals at wrestling out there?

There is such a thing as a natural. But at the end of the day isn’t “better” determined by results? Why should how you get there (natural vs trained product) matter?

That’s like saying someone who gets better results but has less talent shouldn’t be judged in the same way as someone who has more natural talent.

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Sure, that exists.  It does in every sport.  To start with a couple examples, using your terminology:

(1) Metcalf: trained product.  

(2) Dake: natural.

 

 

Of course Dake is also highly trained and Metcalf has plenty of natural talent, but for the sake of this exercise we're assigning archetypes to the best of the best.  

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It definitely plays a part.  You take the more athletic person and give him the exact same retention in techniques, work ethic, conditioning/stamina, strategy, etc. he is simply going to be better.

In another words, all other things being equal the more gifted athlete is going to be better.  An analogy I use a lot with a good friend of mine that was a very big and strong heavyweight, is that a really good big guy is almost always going to beat a really good smaller guy.  With the caveat that "really good" makes everything else equal.

Now, I hate soccer and don't watch it one bit, so I have NO CLUE who is actually better in regards to the OP's starting point.  But, I will say Sadulaev, JB, Kyle Snyder, Bo Nickal(in Folk) J'Den Cox and Spencer Lee are prime examples of physical attributes that simply can't be taught that separated them from the field once their training equaled everyone else.  Meanwhile, you have guys like Dake whose mental fortitude is so over the top that he often looked physically drained and somehow kept coming out on top.

The word "Natural" can mean different things to some, but I think those listed above simply have unteachable qualities that would trump 99% of other wrestlers if everything else was equal.

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Spot on @MSU158

"Natural" versus "trained" is absolutely a thing.  Not sure how anyone could deny it (not even going to comment on the asinine attempt at making it a racist thing....how does one make that leap???  SMH).  Anyway, I have coached a long time and have met those that were natural (didn't work hard or drill hard) and were extremely amazing wrestlers....and I have had kids that worked themselves into extremely amazing wrestlers (no natural feel for body position, no strength, no idea what wrestling was, etc.).  What is amazing to see is when the "natural" kid is also 'trained" and a hard worker.

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The book The Talent Code explains this very well. Its how athletes approach their training. How they use the resources that are available. How hungry/desperate they are to improve their station. And what success looks/feels like to them. It goes into examples outside of sport too. 

Suffice it to say, its tricky to determine who the best is in a sport where they don't play against each other, directly. There are some metrics in each sport that help to weed out most competitors but once you get to the tippy top, the difference is so minute that split of hairs doesn't do it justice. Just sit back and watch and try to enjoy the fact that you're watching some of the best that have ever played. 

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17 minutes ago, BuckyBadger said:

There is such a thing as a natural. But at the end of the day isn’t “better” determined by results? Why should how you get there (natural vs trained product) matter?

That’s like saying someone who gets better results but has less talent shouldn’t be judged in the same way as someone who has more natural talent.

I think you're right, for an individual sport at least.    

But to be fair to Zlatan, it's more difficult to determine individual contribution to results in team sports--and in particular in soccer.  Advanced analytics in soccer are still pretty raw, as it's an inherently difficult game to judge quantitatively.  

The sentiment he's expressing is agreed upon by the majority of professional players and pundits.  Messi and Ronaldo's accomplishments are relatively on par.  But everything you see Ronaldo do you can understand, even if it's incredibly impressive.  Messi, on the other hand, does things that even the best footballers couldn't dream of doing.  He has natural ability that can't really be explained.  

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32 minutes ago, BuckyBadger said:

There is such a thing as a natural. But at the end of the day isn’t “better” determined by results? Why should how you get there (natural vs trained product) matter?

That’s like saying someone who gets better results but has less talent shouldn’t be judged in the same way as someone who has more natural talent.

Ronaldo is absurdly athletic, yet Ibrahimovic said he was a trained product, not a natural.

So what I think Ibrahimovic meant was that Ronaldo and Messi are equally masters of technique, but that Messi gets to a higher level by his ability to creatively improvise, making his incredible technical skill fade into the background.  And having mastery of soccer at that level simply cannot be taught. Ergo, Messi is more than a trained product.

Perhaps “natural” isn’t the best term, but that’s the term Ibrahimovic used.

Edited by Katie

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The "athletic" versus "natural" is also a thing if you ask me.  Someone could be extremely athletic, but not be natural at wrestling...as I define "natural' to include things like natural body awareness, naturally understand leverage and body position, understand push/pull, etc.  Where as being "athletic" means things like good hand eye coordination, fast twitch, and may include things that I mentioned about "natural".

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1 minute ago, dman115 said:

The "athletic" versus "natural" is also a thing if you ask me.  Someone could be extremely athletic, but not be natural at wrestling...as I define "natural' to include things like natural body awareness, naturally understand leverage and body position, understand push/pull, etc.  Where as being "athletic" means things like good hand eye coordination, fast twitch, and may include things that I mentioned about "natural".

i had a 3rd grader on my team. he had cat like hips.  couldn't explain it. he had no idea what he was doing.. but always came out on top... 

could have been an olympian... went out for basketball, is like 5'6 now as a senior

i suck at recruiting

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5 minutes ago, Katie said:

Ronaldo is absurdly athletic, yet Ibrahimovic said he was a trained product, not a natural.

So what I think Ibrahimovic meant was that Ronaldo and Messi are equally masters of technique, but that Messi gets to a higher level by his ability to creatively improvise, making his incredible technical skill fade into the background.  And having mastery of soccer at that level simply cannot be taught. Ergo, Messi is more than a trained product.

Perhaps “natural” isn’t the best term, but that’s the term Ibrahimovic used.

Instincts, creativity and innovations can definitely fit into the "Natural" category as well.  Like I alluded to above, being a "Natural", to me anyway, is more about things that can't really be taught or learned.

Some things I would list for "Natural" wrestlers:

1.)Speed

2.)Agility/flexibility

3.)Balance

4.)Instincts

5.)Max vO2-This can be a GIANT factor in this sport

6.)Intelligence/wrestling IQ-Think Neo actually seeing the code while in The Matrix, while everyone else just sees Agent Smith.

7.)Innovation/creativity

 

I am sure there are more, but these are the things that have really stood out to me over the years.  Someone that is elite in just one of these can go very far, but those that are elite in several, as long as they have the desire can be transcendent. 

 

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2 minutes ago, GockeS said:

i had a 3rd grader on my team. he had cat like hips.  couldn't explain it. he had no idea what he was doing.. but always came out on top... 

could have been an olympian... went out for basketball, is like 5'6 now as a senior

i suck at recruiting

LOL!

But yes...this is exactly the types of things I was talking about.

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26 minutes ago, steamboat_charlie v2 said:

I think you're right, for an individual sport at least.    

Agree.  You see this in tennis a lot.  John McEnroe (genius talent) handled Ivan Lendl for years but Lendl's unparalleled work ethic got him over that hump.  And even after that, Lendl not being a natural really showed itself on grass, which requires more instinctive play (he never won Wimbledon).  

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I think somebody like Yianni is a "natural" with the way he scrambles and controls his own body.  Some of that is innate in a person.  For instance, there is no way I could scramble like that.  I was a "trained" product.  David Taylor is another one that just seems like it is second nature to him.  I think you could make the argument that the guys that have had success since they first stepped on the mat are "naturals".  Somebody like Spencer Lee I would consider a natural.

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1 hour ago, MSU158 said:

It definitely plays a part.  You take the more athletic person and give him the exact same retention in techniques, work ethic, conditioning/stamina, strategy, etc. he is simply going to be better.

In another words, all other things being equal the more gifted athlete is going to be better.  An analogy I use a lot with a good friend of mine that was a very big and strong heavyweight, is that a really good big guy is almost always going to beat a really good smaller guy.  With the caveat that "really good" makes everything else equal.

Now, I hate soccer and don't watch it one bit, so I have NO CLUE who is actually better in regards to the OP's starting point.  But, I will say Sadulaev, JB, Kyle Snyder, Bo Nickal(in Folk) J'Den Cox and Spencer Lee are prime examples of physical attributes that simply can't be taught that separated them from the field once their training equaled everyone else.  Meanwhile, you have guys like Dake whose mental fortitude is so over the top that he often looked physically drained and somehow kept coming out on top.

The word "Natural" can mean different things to some, but I think those listed above simply have unteachable qualities that would trump 99% of other wrestlers if everything else was equal.

Every college coach I’ve ever talked to says that Dame is unequivocally a physical freak

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1 hour ago, steamboat_charlie v2 said:

(1) Metcalf: trained product.  

(2) Dake: natural.

Perfect illustration of the problem with the distinction. Metcalf's focus, tenacity, tank, etc. are no less natural than Dake's "feel" or whatever else you are seeing. Metcalf's single-mindedness IS a gift that others don't have. Dan Gable's monomania is a gift that others don't have.

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Watch Wrestled Away.  Lee Kemp started wrestling as a Freshman in HS.  Automatically this screams natural, but he also worked very hard at wrestling.  He set high goals for himself.  So is he a natural or a trained athlete?  I think he was a natural at doing what it took to be the best and training to do so.  

Edited by jeffrideal

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