There's a running blog I discovered a while back that I really like called Less Than Our Best, where the two authors, Ben and Jeremy, have been Sacrificing the Gift since 2007. It's like the Daily Show meets Track and Field News, and nothing is sacred. I go there for a few chuckles, but not often for any material.
So I was surprised when they said exactly what I was thinking, only funnier:
Andrew Wheating ran 3:38 for 1500m at the Oregon Twilight Meet, impressive considering he played soccer throughout high school. What they didn't tell you was that this (retroactively) makes Wheating the first case where a runner has said, "There's this kid in my school, but he plays soccer, but he's really fast, and I'm telling you, he could be one of the best runners in the state if he just came out for track..." and it actually panned out.
There's a reason these amazingly talented soccer players never turn into all-state runners. And it's not because you over-estimated their talent. They probably are that talented...physically. But they don't want it, so they aren't willing to do the work and exercise the discipline to be great. It's that simple.
I tell you what, though. I long for the day when people stop making the automatic assumption that physical talent and success in running are a 1-to-1 relationship.