Matthew Syed, author of “Bounce: How Champions Are Made” and a former Olympic table tennis player, believes that an individual’s ability is secondary to the level of coaching they receive and the facilities to which they have access. Via Public Health
“When I became English No. 1, I thought I must be super talented. But the top players in the country at that time, 80% of them didn’t just come from the same town or the same suburb, but from the very same street.
“There hadn’t been a genetic mutation — we happened to have the best coach who gave us access to the only 24-hour club.
“So we practiced before school, after school, at weekends, on holidays. Over many years, we transformed ourselves from perfectly ordinary players into world-class players.”