I had a similar story with table tennis actually, at a smaller level of course ... never touched it before in my life, had a table at my first dorms in college, played many times every day and looked like a T-Rex swinging the paddle.
By the end of the semester I beat the best guy in the dorms and made it to the quarter finals in the highest (advanced, rather than novice or intermediate) division of the collegiate intramurals contest, losing to some Chinese guy who was born with a paddle. Not bad for 6 months, considering this was a big state university with over 25000 students.
It all really is technique and practice, though for some skills the learning curve is steeper than others. Hard work and practice > "inborn" talent.