Talent is over-rated. Some people (maybe many people) will disagree with me on that. They think talent is needed to succeed in sports in general, and in judo, in particular.

For sure, talent is immensely useful. If you are naturally athletic and have a strong aptitude for learning technical skills, you will have an advantage over others. You will learn faster than they do.

But talent only gives you the potential for success. If you are lazy and disinterested during training, no amount of talent will help you. You will fail as a judoka. In contrast, if you are passionate about judo and enthusiastic about training, you will make progress and become a good judoka.

As a coach, I've seen soft people transform into tough fighters. I've seen people who had great difficulty learning new techniques become so technically sound that they can now teach others. All this is possible if there is passion and enthusiasm.

If you're not passionate about judo, if you can't get yourself excited about judo training, if you don't look forward to the evening's training and constantly struggle to decide whether to stay at home or go to the dojo, perhaps you're in the wrong sport.

Judo is a really hard sport, in every sense of the word. It's hard in the sense that it is very difficult to master techniques to the point where you can do them against resisting opponents. It's also physically hard on the body. In many ways it is punishing.

That being the case, you'd better have some passion and enthusiasm for the sport because if you don't, it's just not worth it. It's not worth putting yourself through all the aches and pains, and the long hours of training, if you don't love judo.