Most people take years to master a sport and are still refining their game decades after they started playing as a kid. That's how it should be — you trip over yourself in the early going, and only through commitment and dedicating yourself to fixing mistakes do you eventually achieve elite status in your prime adult years.
Just because it should be that way though, doesn't mean it always is — some kids fly up the learning curve and could probably dance around many professional adults in the sports they play using their recently developed moves.
Here are 12 kid athletes way beyond their years in talent:
1. Charlie Bontis, Soccer
The above clip is from a few years ago, when Bontis scored a bicycle kick as an 8-year-old. Now he's 11 and not slowing down at all.
2. Ethan Lavallee, Hockey
In the above video, Ethan Lavallee is 12 years old, 6-foot-5 and 140 pounds. Now he's 15, grown another inch and put on nearly 100 lbs. He's a force to be reckoned with and he's not even old enough to legally drive.
3. Schaeffer McLean, Skateboarding
Schaeffer is 11 years old and he's been tearing it up at skate parks ever since he was 4. Above he's pictured with Tony Hawk, who looks like he hasn't slept since before Schaeffer was born. So skateboarding's biggest name is probably ready for the kid to take over that title — check out highlights on his YouTube page.
4. Rafe Cochran, Golf
Rafe Cochran is a 10-year-old golf prodigy from Palm Beach, Fla. As seen in the above video from 2014, not only is he a super talented golfer, but also already giving back to the poor — he pledged money from supporters for a tournament last year to Food for the Poor.
5. Sam Gordon, Football
Sam Gordon is a 12-year-old running back in Salt Lake City. She got national attention for her scary-quick speed and skills back when she was 9 years old. After taking a year off to focus on soccer, she returned to football in 2014.
6. James Gallaugher, Track and Field
In the above video, a 12-year-old Australian runner named James Gallaugher closes a 20-meter gap by himself on the final leg of a 4-by-100-meter relay race to pull his team to victory. That same kid is now 15 and touted as the "Australian Usain Bolt."
7. Reshat Mati, Boxing
THNKR posted the above seven-minute spotlight on Reshat Mati, "The Albanian Bear," back in 2012, and it has since racked up more than 13 million views. The 16-year-old is a two-time Junior Olympic boxing champ and poised to become the biggest name in the sport.
8. Demias Jimerson, Football
In 2011, Demias Jimerson of Malvern, Ark., was slapped with the "Madre Hill Rule," preventing him from scoring more than three touchdowns if his team had at least a 14-point lead in a game. Yes, he was benched for being too good. Apparently that happens. Now Demias is 15 and plays for Malvern High School.
9. Brooke Raboutou, Rock Climbing
Brooke Raboutou is a 14-year-old rock climber and the world record holder for the youngest person to climb a 5.14b difficulty route. Both of her parents are former world champion climbers, so she's well on her way to matching and exceeding their accomplishments.
10. Kobi Clements, Surfing
Kobi Clements is 10 years old and looks like he's been surfing for decades. His dad first took him out on the board when he was just a year old and he's been on the water ever since.
11. Ariel Antigua
Ariel Antigua of Jersey City was hitting 90 mph fastballs at age 5 and shortly after being discovered he was featured in a nine-page spread in Sports Illustrated. That was in 2010, so do the math and he's now hitting 180 mph fastballs at age 10. OK, not really, but that would be dope.
12. Gabby Price, Tennis
Gabby Price is just 12 years old, but has already been described by famous tennis trainer Rick Macci as having the quickest first step he's seen "since the Williams sisters." By Williams sisters, you can probably guess he's talking about Serena and Venus. Apparently they're pretty good at tennis.
(H/T: Bleacher Report)
Cover image: Schaeffer McLean via YouTube