What is Talent?

November 02, 2012 by Angela Coon


What is talent?

The dictionary says "  it’s a natural aptitude or skill " . 

 If a person has enough love and passion, might talent be developed with skill training? 

 I think there is no question about the development of aptitude and skill when driven by desire and or encouragement.

I have noticed that no one talks too much about honing personal characteristics that might direct each of us towards something we are good at. 

Mostly I hear parents, coaches and people speaking about who has talent and who doesn't. It sounds so deterministic in my view. 

Shouldn't we spend more time trying to maximize positive traits we are born with? 

Without question some people are born with loads of talent and others go un noticed. Maybe as adults we need more skill in positive thinking so we can encourage and foster traits which will keep doors open for people and minimize the doors that close so society as a whole gets better?  

Nancy Huneau was one of my first coaches. I thought of her as my teacher first but what I remember most was her saying .. “ You can do it Ange… Wow that was great!....Try it again .. I know you can get it this time”.  I am certain Mrs. Huneau was not a certified level national coach. It was my understanding  that she was not on a national team.  I am not saying her knowledge and experience were not important but my early development was sparked by  Mrs. Huneau believing in me. This was a  gift that has lasted me a lifetime. 

AS adults we need  to support our children in any way we can. As people we need to support each other as well because it is  never too late to foster our own talents.  Children have innate energy  and passion and with our encouragement they will find their way. 

I would like to dedicate this blog to some of the wonderful coaches in my life.

Tom Mori and Mrs Dean who first coached me gymnastics at Puce Public School near Belle River Ontario. Tom remains a personal friend.  I remember Mrs Dean as a dynamo woman who volunteered at our school. 

Nancy Huneau who seemed to have more energy than 10 people combined. 

My grade 9 french teacher who asked me to try the hurdles as I might be good at it. 

Gord and Maggie Magee. A husband and wife team who dedicated a great deal of their time to a bunch of keen girls in the Windsor YMCA " Opti Y" gymnastics club.  

Bob Munroe who was my highschool teacher who once told me  “ Ange, never stop running ". 

Andrea Page  An energetic woman who took myself and a few other young girls under her wing to share what she had learned as an aspiring National team hurdler. 

Charlie Francis My late husband who’s true genius might have been in believing anything was possible. 

Nancy Huneau and Ange June 1980 University of Winsdor Ontario Track and Field Center


zach even - esh

zach even - esh said:

ANge this is a GREAT blog you have. I work with primarily high school athletes and this is HUGE, we are constantly training to build them BEYOND the physical, we focus on building character.

Many kids quit training when in season comes around. Why? Their parents decide that they will be too busy and the kids don’t have any answer to this

We need to see parents supporting kids to train YEAR round, not just off season.

Your blog is GREAT

When I get high speed internet and power, I will be able to download the purchases.

The hurricane in NJ damaged power in my town

Thank YOU :)


Angela said:

Thank-you for your comments.
As coaches, trainers and teachers we get to build a relationship with the children we work with but we also have the opportunity to do the same with the parents. Within these relationships trust can be built. When this happens you will be able to demonstrate why your suggestions make sense.
Challenge your own thinking regarding parents and do your best for the audience you are working with.
I hope the best for you , your family and community as I know the hurricane was devastating for millions.
Continued success,

Peter Middlemore

Peter Middlemore said:

Ange, I stumbled across this blog by accident but I’m glad I did. I couldn’t agree more with your comments about identifying talent and then fostering and developing it. The right blend of talent, passion, and courage is required. From watching my son develop since age six while participating in various sports and me coaching to some extent, I can easily say that I have witnessed dozens of examples of kids in sports that clearly had the talent but not the passion or courage. Others have less talent but more passion and courage and are able to push themselves to the limit of their ability. The elite athlete has all three with the required dose of opportunity. It was enjoyable to reminisce about some of the names you have dedicated this blog to. I too was a sudent at BRDHS and a classmate of your brother Phil. I was also a member of the Opti-Y team (1973-78 I think). I specifically remember a school sports day event in probably 1983 and a relay race was part of the competition. You were the anchor leg of your team and when you received the baton the leader was half finished her leg of the race. You came storming towards her like a high speed locomotive with perfect running form and reeled her in and passed her just at the finish line. I should also mention that I have read your late-husbands book “Speed Trap” and thouroughly enjoyed it. I have two hard copy versions of it in my vast sport themed book collection and it is one of my favorites. I remember being glued to the television during the 1988 Olympics and couldn’t wait to see Ben put Carl in his place. Ben and Canada got robbed. I mean if FloJo wasn’t on ‘roids then none of them were. She ends up being touted as America’s hero and Ben winds up as Canada’s shame. Not right to this day. I was thrilled to be able to read the relationship amongst Charlie and the sprinters and Ben in particular. Who knew there was so much else going on at the time and the lack of financial suppport from Canada was a sad reality. Anyhow, good luck and keep on dishing out your valuable advice.

Angela Coon

Angela Coon said:

Thank-you for adding to my comments.
The more of us who understand ideas around talent identification the greater the likelihood we as parents, teachers and coaches will have in facilitating our children to realize what their talents and passions truly are.
I am not sure how great my running style was then but I really do enjoy hearing from people from home. Thanks for writing in.
Your insights and thoughts regarding sports echo the brilliant efforts Daniel Gordon put towards his film 9.79*. I wrote about it here so check it out.
Best to you and the raising of your family.

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