ATTENTION: LONG POST!
I was thinking quite some time about posting something to this thread, but now I decided to do it.
@Travis: GO FOR IT!
If you have the financial means to give it a try, and don't bring other people (i.e. a family) into trouble, do it!!!
Don't listen to the nay-sayers, because they cannot understand, how something is possible, that they didn't manage to do.
Some background story first.
During my childhood (35 years ago) I grew up like a regular boy, doing all kinds of sports, most of it, playing a lot of football (soccer, for the u.s.).
Since it's most common to play in junior leagues, my parents let me play there, and I got used to do things competitively.
At age 14, I tried Volleyball for the first time, and was hooked. 1 or 2 years later, my dream was to play internationally, have a jersey with my name on it and make it to Austria's national team.
Let me tell you, that at this time I was about 165cm in height, so these weren't the perfect athletic abilities, to say the least.
So I concentrated a lot on technique and strategy. Of course I worked out in the gym to maximise my jumping strength, to be able to compete.
At age 17 I already played in my hometown's men's team in Austria's 2nd league.
When I turned 20, a club of the first league wanted to trade me to them, and our team's manager at that time asked me, "Don't you overestimate your potential, my friend?" (sounds familiar, Travis?)
I grabbed the chance and never looked back.
I played semi-professional (more wasn't possible at that time in Austria) Volleyball for the next 15 years - I didn't grow higher than 180cm BTW, but I managed to jump 90cm in my best times (reaching 2m24cm while standing, and 3m14cm with a jump).
Even after university, when I got a job, I managed to attend training 5 times a week and play the matches at the weekends.
Now, I have a jersey with my name on it on a wall at my house, I played at a EuropeanClubChampionships (CEV-Cup) tournament in Spain and even got a call for the national team for one time.
Yes, I trained _a_lot_. And yes, I think I had some phyiscal abilities that helped me to get to that jumping strength I had.
But this was only to compensate for my low height.
What really kept me inside our country's top players were my technique and strategy - and that's something not given or you're born with it. That are things you can learn.
But it is even as important to get mentally involved in what you are doing.
I didn't just listened what my trainers told me - I watched videos of the best volleyball setters to see, what they were doing different than me and try to adapt.
Think about, what were my best tactical options in different situations, and so on. Read as many books and articles I could find and pick out the things that were valuable to me.
I ate, drank and dreamed Volleyball as long as I can remember.
I always wanted to understand, _HOW_ something is working, and _WHY_.
And I think, that's what is meant, when I read about "deliberate practise".
It's not only the amount of time put into something, but the mental intensity you're doing it. I think 30 minutes of deliberate practice (understanding _what_ , _why_ and _how_ you are doing something) are much more effective than being on the range for 2 hours, without even thinking what you are doing.
What I had, was determination.
I didn't go out long the night before a game, never drank too much and tried to stay healthy.
My friends would always tease me, "Come on, 4 or 5 beers more can't be that bad", or "You are going home _NOW_? It's just starting to get funny!" and so on.
I read paper tiger last year and after some pages, to me it was clear, he wouldn't make it. There's one situation, where he comes to Florida and sees all those players at the range and the first thing that comes to his mind is something like "I wish I would be as good as them" and he's freezing with respect.
That's not the attitude to get good at something, least getting to beat someone. If you don't think, you can win, you won't - and that was where his fate was determined IMHO.
I think, most of the guys, not making it on tour don't have worse golfing abilities than the others, technical wise.
To me, it looks like the difference is the competitiveness of the better guys.
Nobody fell out of the sky being an expert in something.
Once again, Travis - go for it and keep us updated, how it goes!!
I won't say, you will make it, and I won't say you won't make it.
All I can say is, get involved in the things you have to do to reach your goals and give everything you have - this way you will know, that you did your best!