How much performance is Training vs natural ability?


My daughter is age 12 and in her second year of track.
She is in both Middle School track, and also a member of a track club.

The Coach of the track clubs’ daughter has been training for track since around age 5.

Her PR’s (all official electronic meet times) at age 13 are:

100m 12.2 seconds

200m 24.9 seconds

Long Jump 5.38m

How much of this could be attributed to training?


Those are the coaches daughter’s times? I don’t know how to answer your question because I think it’s impossible to determine. I will just say that if she hadn’t been training since age 5 she probably wouldn’t run under 15 IMO. So I’ll just say that training helps an ass load.

You cant determine with an equation how much is going to give what. In every case it will differ, as quality of training is very important obviously, as is the specific natural advantages the athlete has.

I completely agree. Also, IMO it is not possible to judge someones natural ability by initial performances. Just because someone isn’t fast from the get go doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to progress. IMO natural talent is more about who makes progress more easily rather than how well they are able to perform in an untrained state prior to doing any real training as it seems to me most people think is important.

What I am saying is that a 12 year old boy who runs 13.3 could very well have more natural ability than another 12 year old boy that runs 12.3.

There are other factors that affect performance making ‘natural talent’ impossible to isolate and determine EVEN in a completely untrained subject such as lifestyle factors, varying levels of motivation, confidence, among other things.

People just get to caught up in worrying about ‘natural talent’ IMO.

Yes, those are the Coaches daughters times at age 13.

The coaches son at age 10 was the World Record holder for his age in the long jump 16’ 10.75", one of only 7 ten year olds in the US to ever jump over 16’.


World records for 10 year olds, mate someone is telling you fibs

Probably a significant amount, but as others have said, it’s impossible to tell.

There was a 13 year old girl I coached who ran 13.49 and long jumped 4.76 after 4 practices. Her 4.76 was off the “wrong” foot, after accidentally starting her run-up with the different foot. I decided that wasn’t the “wrong” foot after all.

Your daughters potential is probably so darn high you wouldn’t believe it. Problem is, most people don’t train properly (and long enough) to achieve their potential.

My “natural ability” for speed wasn’t very good. I was slow as heck in middle school- one of the slowest on the track team. But since I loved running track and I worked at it, I was one of the fastest (if not the fastest) by the time I graduated when it actually mattered.

My daughter gets a good 2 hour workout on Saturdays, and then on Mondays and Wednsdays she does a 1 hour workout on her own. The main problem is, the weekday workouts are without competition, and all her sprints are ran by herself.

She is also the fastest in our town (5 Junior High School track teams) so she doesn’t have alot of competition locally Last year at age 11 (6th grade) she had the fastest times in the 100m, 200m 400m and 800m, including the upper grades that she didn’t race against, 7th and 8th grade girls).

But, when she goes to Club practices on Saturday, that’s a whole different level :slight_smile: The Club has some very fast girls.

It’s too bad there is nothing closer, as the 300 mile round trip every Saturday can be tough, and expensive.