You can spend your whole life investing every last ounce of your energy into shooting to reach the top of your game, whatever it may be. You think you’re doing well—you have some talent, you work hard, you deserve to climb whatever ladder it is that has taken your fancy.
And then a smug 18-month-old Dutch baby completely obliterates your self-image—all in the time it takes to watch a 20 second YouTube video. The baby boy, Baerke van der Meij, shot to stardom after his father posted a video of him accurately shooting soccer balls into his toybox on YouTube.
One million views later, the video caught the interest of Dutch soccer club VVV-Venio and now young Baerke has signed a 10-year professional contract with the club. His nappy was probably soggy while his dad helped him ‘sign’ the contract.
“What I do know is, with the advent of the internet and quick-share programs like YouTube…”
Children with awe-inspiring talent—how does it happen? Am I the only person who can’t help being slightly annoyed at the good fortune of these mini-geniuses? Have they been put on this earth to inspire, or just to make us feel bad about ourselves?
It’s taken me almost eight years to learn how to scratch a few rugged tunes on a guitar, yet there’s an eight-year-old boy in Elkhorn in the United States who is being touted as a ‘guitar prodigy’ and whose electric guitar skills are apparently ‘stunning’ blues-loving audiences across the globe.
Stories like this make me want to smash my own guitar, Kurt Cobain-style, into the keyboard I never use and the surf board that is defective and drive it all to the tip, towed on the back of rollerblades I never quite mastered.
“You can spend your whole life investing every last ounce of your energy into shooting to reach the top of your game…”
But even the guitar-playing, mini-mature Muddy Waters doesn’t make me feel like giving up as much as the two-year-old geography expert does. Little Lilly can also be found on YouTube, pointing out all the countries on a world map.
A quick search of the internet reveals many more child prodigies, including a 12-year-old yodeller, a six-year-old piano-playing superstar, a seven-year-old ‘killing’ a drum solo, a five-year-old belly dancer…and (this one annoys me the most) a kid who looks about three years old demonstrating a perfect parallel park, complete with mini-motorised car.
Why do these children shoot to greatness before they can even tie their own shoelaces? Are they just lucky, simply naturally-talented or do they all have parents who purposely steer them towards these unbelievable outcomes?
What I do know is, with the advent of the internet and quick-share programs like YouTube, if you have a kid with an uncanny talent, it’s easier than ever before to get them noticed.