That's interesting. It makes me think of Steve when he says that true artists have no choice other than making their own art real in the world. Therefore, for many great guitar players it wasn't boring to spend 8-10 hours a day practicing in their teenage years, because they loved it and would not consider doing anything else. In general, I would consider that the best way to the fulfillment of your life - you end up doing what you love to do and make a living out of that. Not everybody is so blessed, I guess. I mean, not everybody is capable of figuring out early in their lives their true calling and setting out to make it real. Maybe 'talent' is just that ability.
I'm not sure whether this applies to people like Federer, Tiger Woods, Beckham or Mozart. Maybe it does to a certain extent, but I guess they all spent a tremendous amount of time perfecting what they do/did, and I think I read somewhere (biology class books, maybe?) that when you do that over and over your brain cells build up more synapses, thus making it easier to perform the same task in the future. So yes, I would say that at least Neuroscience and Psychology support Syed's conclusions, but I'm not an expert.
I hope this makes sense.