How do you measure talent? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

How do you measure talent?

socaltennisguy
06-18-2006, 09:37 PM
What is talent to you? Why do you consider safin more talented than the rest? Why does davydenko have the least talent out of the top 10?

Let's see; for me it would have to be pure ballstriking ability; how hard can the guy hit the ball and how clean does it come off his racket.

I'm guessing this, plus if the guy can hit miraculous winners, determines talent. But what about the hewitts and the davydenkos who are super consistent. Are they not considered to be talented or what? I don't really see the comparison, even though i admit to making it myself sometimes. Just because a guy doesn't hit flashy shots, is he not talented? Enlighten me..

Johnny Groove
06-18-2006, 09:43 PM
you measure it with a ruler

elang
06-18-2006, 09:44 PM
For me, I'll say the more majors a guy win, the more talented he is. I'll consider Federal more talented than Safin, Samprus more talented than Aggasi, not the reverse.

Scotso
06-18-2006, 09:49 PM
Nikolay may not have the powerful shots of Safin, but his talent lies in his fighting ability. That's talent, too, imo.

El Legenda
06-18-2006, 10:00 PM
i would say the ability to place a 135mph serve where u want it, is talent. so ljubicic is quite talented

Merton
06-18-2006, 10:35 PM
Making shots that are high percentage plays for the given player but very low percentage plays for other players.

stebs
06-18-2006, 10:36 PM
For me I think talent is how well you can play. If everyone played at top form all the time and never got injured then the rankings would be an order of talent. Of course, some talented guys often play badly which is why life isn't like this.

disturb3d
06-18-2006, 10:45 PM
Because the technical side of tennis is so difficult to master; spotting a talent is as easy as pie.
Take a player who can rally almost carelessly, and have a technically-correct response to everything thrown at him.
Who will hit net-cord winners from any angle on the court, and make it look intentional.
Soft, versatile wrists. And the ability to percieve where the next ball will be projected.
Talents: Fed, Nalb, Coria

marifline
06-18-2006, 11:58 PM
For me it's mostly technical. A talented player is a player who is able to make various shots, the most talented of all would be able to make any shots, at any time he 'd want to. Then come the ability to anticipate the game. Foresee what your oponent is gonna play obviously give you more chance to make the shot that will come upon him.
So for me, talent is measured by the spectrum of shots a player can make and the sense of the game.
And I would add that IMO, grass is the surface where the sense of the game shows up the more, just because its speed needs the player to be more instincive.

oz_boz
06-19-2006, 12:10 AM
Talent = 3.14 * winners^2.5/(unforced errors) * log(aces+1)/(body height in m -1)

heya
06-19-2006, 03:56 AM
Talent player still wins with average power, poor fitness and little flexibility

fenomeno2111
06-19-2006, 04:11 AM
Talent = 3.14 * winners^2.5/(unforced errors) * log(aces+1)/(body height in m -1)

Tell me the units of this measure :D It would be something like UE-1*Aces*Meters bit weird in my opinion....JK ;) :p

aneevar
06-19-2006, 05:45 AM
Talent = Natural aptitude for something.

If you talk about a game/sport then , TALENT has to mean ability to do/play it ,
AESTHETICALLY , NATURALLY , & WITH VARIETY ( multidimensional ).
When people/connosieurs praise player 'A' as talented , it is for these qualities.
(Federer is a clear example of talent - fluid , unhurried movement , wrist-work etc.Also J Mcnroe)

BUT there are other TYPES OF TALENT also - say - PHYSICAL talent
( Safin/Berdych/Nadal) , MENTAL (strategy/brainwise) talent ,
COMPETETIVE/TEMPERAMENT (big match grit ) talent (Connors/Nadal)
etc .

Since sport involves( & rewards) all these facets , there is no way u can measure
it objectively / absolutely .

Tennis is an outdoor , physical sport & in my dictionary TALENT would mean TALENT of the 1 st kind - that is ability to play it ......

This is PRIMARY requirement , rest come later . Also is the most apparent way of determining.

g35-great
06-19-2006, 05:49 AM
according to certain people in mtf... the bigger the ass means they got more talent :rolleyes:

JimmyV
06-19-2006, 05:59 AM
Im hung like a moose.

its.like.that
06-19-2006, 06:07 AM
with a yard stick of course.

LoveFifteen
06-19-2006, 06:44 AM
I'm getting tired of these talent discussions although I do like the original poster's intents. It seems like the heart of the matter is that everyone is saying that Nadal isn't very talented and somehow this takes away from his victories.

heya
06-19-2006, 07:29 AM
Talent is confused for flashy shotmaking/agility and long arm reach.

MrGasa
06-19-2006, 09:17 AM
Well, one of the way to measure talent is to see what can player do with the ball when he's got minimum time to react. That includes volleys, half-volleys, service returns and baseline strokes when the ball is rising or very fast.

Nathaliia
06-19-2006, 10:13 AM
I measure it with the number of my "Woooow" "OMG" "greaaat shot" thoughts per player, during the match :)

Art&Soul
06-19-2006, 11:11 AM
Talent is Mr Federer :)

mandoura
06-19-2006, 12:30 PM
Talent = Natural aptitude for something.

If you talk about a game/sport then , TALENT has to mean ability to do/play it ,
AESTHETICALLY , NATURALLY , & WITH VARIETY ( multidimensional ).
When people/connosieurs praise player 'A' as talented , it is for these qualities.
(Federer is a clear example of talent - fluid , unhurried movement , wrist-work etc.Also J Mcnroe)

BUT there are other TYPES OF TALENT also - say - PHYSICAL talent
( Safin/Berdych/Nadal) , MENTAL (strategy/brainwise) talent ,
COMPETETIVE/TEMPERAMENT (big match grit ) talent (Connors/Nadal)
etc .

Since sport involves( & rewards) all these facets , there is no way u can measure
it objectively / absolutely .

Tennis is an outdoor , physical sport & in my dictionary TALENT would mean TALENT of the 1 st kind - that is ability to play it ......

This is PRIMARY requirement , rest come later . Also is the most apparent way of determining.

Yes, I mostly agree with your post. The most important part for me is the fluidity of the shots, how naturally they come to the player, and how he seems to be making them look effortless while it is not necessarily so. Also, anticipation. This means how well the player understands the game and the court.

This might seem like a simple generalisation but, imho, I think that every player in the top 100 has a % of talent. It's a fierce field and to make it into the top 100, there has to be some talent somewhere. :)

mandoura
06-19-2006, 12:35 PM
I'm getting tired of these talent discussions although I do like the original poster's intents. It seems like the heart of the matter is that everyone is saying that Nadal isn't very talented and somehow this takes away from his victories.

Not true. :hug:

I for one think Rafa's ability to return any ball and keep it in play is pure talent. Also, as Castafiore said in another thread, Rafa's ability to switch from defensive to offensive play in a wink is sheer talent. He has quite an impressive array of shots which are based on just talent. :)

Kristen
06-19-2006, 02:26 PM
in...five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes...
or something like that. Yet another meaningless reply from me. I am full of them (full of something) lately. I don't know how to answer this question. In titles? ranking? points, prize money? But then how can you compare in terms of surfaces or competition :shrug:

Angle Queen
06-19-2006, 02:36 PM
Talent for me...means natural talent. Unfortunately, it's difficult to assess once these players have reached the pro ranks. They've been coached and coached, hit thousands of balls and so what you see is...are, for the most part and IMHO...acquired or refined skills. Where the talent part does still show at the pro level is in their mental edge as I believe it harder for that element of the game to be honed by an outsider. Does a player have the mental abilities, or talent, to correctly read a situation and adjust (as necessary). Sadly, we see so few matches from start-to-finish on TV here in the US...I really couldn't tell you who I thought had such ability (except for some obvious ones). Now ask me about the ladies in my local league...and you'll get an earful. I'd much rather play a physically more "talented" (read...skilled) player...and hope they have an off-day or I can adequately counter-punch them....than a "mental" player. They rarely have an off-day.

Apemant
06-19-2006, 02:51 PM
For me, I'll say the more majors a guy win, the more talented he is. I'll consider Federal more talented than Safin, Samprus more talented than Aggasi, not the reverse.

:rolleyes:
Then I guess you measure intelligence by checking someone's bank account. :devil:

Talent is not measured. Just as beauty is not measured. If you have eyes, you see it. If you don't see it, someone can try hard to explain it to you, but they will most likely fail miserably. So, as Homer would say, never try.

elang
06-19-2006, 04:15 PM
:rolleyes:
Then I guess you measure intelligence by checking someone's bank account. :devil:

Talent is not measured. Just as beauty is not measured. If you have eyes, you see it. If you don't see it, someone can try hard to explain it to you, but they will most likely fail miserably. So, as Homer would say, never try.

Hehe, don't you think Bill Gates is talented before you check his banking account? The number of majors won is clear. If a person never win a major, he is not talented.

TheMightyFed
06-19-2006, 04:34 PM
Federer has more than talent for the game, he's got genius. If you take the "squash" passing he's made against Nalby in RG, you see the fluidity, the balance, the rythm in a shot that he basically never hits ! We are in another dimension. Grass is often described as the best surface to measure talent, because of the bad bounces, the short reaction time, the difficult movement. McEnroe, Sampras or Federer have mastered it.
Then you have huge talent in Borg or in Nadal, who have a great sense of the game and have found technical solutions out of the usual way, in a very siccessful manner. They have completed their game by a perfect fitness level and a mental of steel. Then you have simple talent in players like Edberg, Lendl or Hewitt.

Apemant
06-19-2006, 04:53 PM
Hehe, don't you think Bill Gates is talented before you check his banking account? The number of majors won is clear. If a person never win a major, he is not talented.

I don't think Bill Gates has IQ 15354 as he should, based on his bank account and your logic. :devil:

Number of majors doesn't necessarily say anything about someone's talent. David is way more talented than many of those lucky horses who accidentally won a major or even two. Granted, I do believe Nalbo will eventually win a major, but even if he doesn't, it's just not a good indicator of his talent. Maybe he gets injured (god forbid), maybe he loses interest in tennis and moves to skateboarding (heaven forbid), maybe he loses 7 finals to Federer/Nadal/whoever (shudder)... anything can happen. But whatever happens, David is still talented. You can't deny it based just on the fact that he never won a Slam.

But results do, indeed, fool most people, not just you. People tend to look at the score and let it affect their initial feelings about how the game was played. In football it happens more often than not. Some team beats the other by 3-0 and you hear comments like 'they annihilated them, owned them yada yada yada blah blah blah' while in fact those 3 goals were more luck than anything else, and the other team actually played better but missed their chances. Element of luck is very important in all sports, so you can't conclude anything based on just the score.

Back to tennis, I still remember comments here after David lost that DC match to Ljubo in straight sets. People were like 'David played like crap', 'Ivan destroyed him' etc. while in fact David played better throughout the entire match, winning majority of all points which went to rallying. The fact was that Ljubo got sooo many easy points, not just incredible amount of aces but also many service winners or points won immediatelly after the serve put him in superior position. Moreover, the ace count was so high because David was trying to read Ivan's serve (and it just wasn't his day, Ivan obviously fooled him many times), because on a surface that fast, waiting to see where it will be heading wouldn't acomplish anything except converting several aces into service winners.

So, back to the talent issue :devil: - winning majors might be an indication of talent, but it's just not conclusive.

elang
06-19-2006, 05:17 PM
I don't think Bill Gates has IQ 15354 as he should, based on his bank account and your logic. :devil:

Number of majors doesn't necessarily say anything about someone's talent. David is way more talented than many of those lucky horses who accidentally won a major or even two. Granted, I do believe Nalbo will eventually win a major, but even if he doesn't, it's just not a good indicator of his talent. Maybe he gets injured (god forbid), maybe he loses interest in tennis and moves to skateboarding (heaven forbid), maybe he loses 7 finals to Federer/Nadal/whoever (shudder)... anything can happen. But whatever happens, David is still talented. You can't deny it based just on the fact that he never won a Slam.

But results do, indeed, fool most people, not just you. People tend to look at the score and let it affect their initial feelings about how the game was played. In football it happens more often than not. Some team beats the other by 3-0 and you hear comments like 'they annihilated them, owned them yada yada yada blah blah blah' while in fact those 3 goals were more luck than anything else, and the other team actually played better but missed their chances. Element of luck is very important in all sports, so you can't conclude anything based on just the score.

Back to tennis, I still remember comments here after David lost that DC match to Ljubo in straight sets. People were like 'David played like crap', 'Ivan destroyed him' etc. while in fact David played better throughout the entire match, winning majority of all points which went to rallying. The fact was that Ljubo got sooo many easy points, not just incredible amount of aces but also many service winners or points won immediatelly after the serve put him in superior position. Moreover, the ace count was so high because David was trying to read Ivan's serve (and it just wasn't his day, Ivan obviously fooled him many times), because on a surface that fast, waiting to see where it will be heading wouldn't acomplish anything except converting several aces into service winners.

So, back to the talent issue :devil: - winning majors might be an indication of talent, but it's just not conclusive.

Without victory, the so called "talent" is nothing but a way fooling some people.

Apemant
06-19-2006, 08:15 PM
Without victory, the so called "talent" is nothing but a way fooling some people.

No, talent is a natural predisposition, much like intelligence, for example.

To convert intelligence into actual knowledge, one must still learn. Noone is smart just because they are intelligent.

To convert talent into actual results, one must practice (there are other factors as well, of course). Without practice, talent is pretty much wasted. But, you can't waste something you don't even have to begin with, right? :devil:

If you are mathematically inclined, here is a (very simplified) formula:

results = talent * practice

What you are saying is, 'if results are low, talent is also low'. That is simply wrong reasoning, because you are ignoring other variables in the equation. Like practice, most obviously. But also life priorities, focus, determination, willpower, mental strength... a lot of stuff which aren't usually counted as 'talent for tennis in particular'.

The fact that Safin prefers playing with women over playing tennis doesn't mean he is not talented (for tennis, I mean :devil:. His talent for women is quite... err... obvious). If, by some lucky chance, it was the other way around, and he remained focused mainly on tennis, won like 6-7 Slams, would it make him more talented? Of course not.

marifline
06-19-2006, 10:09 PM
Apemant I totally agree with you...on one side there's talent and the other side there's work...but the greatest player are/were always the most talented of their peers

nkhera1
06-20-2006, 12:03 AM
I don't know about you guys, but i've developed my own complex system for talent. Here is my top 10:

1. Federer
2. Nadal
3. Nalbandian
4. Ljubicic
5. Roddick
6. Davydenko
7. Blake
8. Robredo
9. Hewitt
10. Gonzalez

In fact my rankings look a lot like this: http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/entrysystem/

elang
06-20-2006, 01:07 AM
If a guy is really talented, he know one thing basic : hard working. If he don't know that, it just means he is stupid. If he is stupid, then that may not mean a lot to talk about how talented a stupid guy is.

drf716
06-20-2006, 04:08 AM
for me, talent isn't learned so the less you practice and the more you win, the more talented you are.

Pea
06-20-2006, 04:59 AM
You measure it on the scale of Roger Federer to andy rodduck.

ChloeLove
06-20-2006, 05:04 AM
Well . . . for me, talent is practised. Natural talent can only get you so far.

The ability to win matches, and step it up when it's a crucial time in the match. Endurance, stength, grace, mental, are all factors. I watched Gasquets last match, and he is actually extremely talented, but winning the match is important, same goes for Santoro. Crazy skills, but certain things hold him back. IMO talent isn't all about how good you look hitting the ball, it's how you win the point.

Apemant
06-20-2006, 08:56 AM
for me, talent isn't learned so the less you practice and the more you win, the more talented you are.

Of course, if

results = talent * practice

then, it must be

talent = results / practice

Which is exactly what you said here. :devil:

But I still think its too simplified. There are many other factors except results and hard work.

Mimi
06-20-2006, 10:21 AM
the ability to create unbelievable shots effortlessly :)

tests
06-20-2011, 06:38 AM
How do you define talent in a player?

Aesthetics of shot
Shotmaking, regardless of "conventionality of shot"
Footwork
Athleticism
Speed
Serve
Return
Mental strength (focus, ability to front-run, ability to come from behind)
Versatility on different surfaces
Tennis IQ (Shot selection, adaptability to opponent)
Strategic sense


These are some of the things to consider (P.S., i stole this thread from another tennis forum).

What do you guys think?

VolandriFan
06-20-2011, 07:01 AM
Single-handed backhand.

shiaben
06-20-2011, 07:03 AM
Well yeah of course. It's an accurate combination of all of the above.

You see talent right away when they play.

However, the question is, can the "talented" player impose his merit night in and night out?

Start da Game
06-20-2011, 07:13 AM
Talent = Natural aptitude for something.

If you talk about a game/sport then , TALENT has to mean ability to do/play it ,
AESTHETICALLY , NATURALLY , & WITH VARIETY ( multidimensional ).
When people/connosieurs praise player 'A' as talented , it is for these qualities.
(Federer is a clear example of talent - fluid , unhurried movement , wrist-work etc.Also J Mcnroe)

BUT there are other TYPES OF TALENT also - say - PHYSICAL talent
( Safin/Berdych/Nadal) , MENTAL (strategy/brainwise) talent ,
COMPETETIVE/TEMPERAMENT (big match grit ) talent (Connors/Nadal)
etc .

Since sport involves( & rewards) all these facets , there is no way u can measure
it objectively / absolutely .

Tennis is an outdoor , physical sport & in my dictionary TALENT would mean TALENT of the 1 st kind - that is ability to play it ......

This is PRIMARY requirement , rest come later . Also is the most apparent way of determining.

good post......

Start da Game
06-20-2011, 07:14 AM
Talent is confused for flashy shotmaking/agility and long arm reach.

another good post......

paseo
06-20-2011, 08:05 AM
With a Talent-O-Meter, of course. What a question...

MaxPower
06-20-2011, 09:11 AM
Another problem is that you have to judge players after what they are given to work with. For example many people call Isner/Karlovic types for untalented mugs, but if you are huge player many things get more complicated. Basically having long legs and arms makes it harder with the timing and movement. I'd say it's much much harder to change direction quickly, get right to the ball etc for those big players.

On the other hand you have short players who can't rely on serve or heavy shots so they develop amazing slices, dropshots, lobs and alike. Often that doesn't mean they are more talented. They practice and practice on such shot because they NEED them. If you don't have a serve or booming groundstrokes you need something else. Doesn't necessarily mean you are more talented, maybe just that you use that type of shots more and also practice to do them more.

My point is that the general MTF guy would say a short "magician" type Santoro are very talented but not recognize the talent some taller players have developed to shorten down points.

Lurking
06-20-2011, 09:21 AM
You are what your results are more or less, unless you get stabbed by Gunter Parche.

wee
06-20-2011, 09:53 AM
Talent player still wins with average power

tests
06-20-2011, 10:05 AM
Another problem is that you have to judge players after what they are given to work with. For example many people call Isner/Karlovic types for untalented mugs, but if you are huge player many things get more complicated. Basically having long legs and arms makes it harder with the timing and movement. I'd say it's much much harder to change direction quickly, get right to the ball etc for those big players.

On the other hand you have short players who can't rely on serve or heavy shots so they develop amazing slices, dropshots, lobs and alike. Often that doesn't mean they are more talented. They practice and practice on such shot because they NEED them. If you don't have a serve or booming groundstrokes you need something else. Doesn't necessarily mean you are more talented, maybe just that you use that type of shots more and also practice to do them more.

My point is that the general MTF guy would say a short "magician" type Santoro are very talented but not recognize the talent some taller players have developed to shorten down points.


great points.

tests
06-20-2011, 10:05 AM
Talent player still wins with average power

well what if that said players TALENT is their raw power (a safin if you will) or a potro to a lesser extent

careergrandslam
06-20-2011, 11:02 AM
talent = ballbashing according to MTF.