"New research led by Michigan State University’s Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people differ in level of skill in two widely studied activities, chess and music. In other words, it takes more than hard work to become an expert. Hambrick, writing in the research journal Intelligence, said natural talent and other factors likely play a role in mastering a complicated activity.
... While the conclusion that practice may not make perfect runs counter to the popular view that just about anyone can achieve greatness if they work hard enough, Hambrick said there is a “silver lining” to the research.
“If people are given an accurate assessment of their abilities and the likelihood of achieving certain goals given those abilities,” he said, “they may gravitate toward domains in which they have a realistic chance of becoming an expert through deliberate practice.”