The sort of thinking involved is the sort that can be done only by a living and highly conscious entity, and then it can really be done only unconsciously, i.e., by fusing talent with repetition to such an extent that the variables are combined and controlled without conscious thought.
James Fallows reminds his readers about this great tennis piece from David Foster Wallace. No, it's not the one about Federer, though that one is great, too. It's the one about Michael Joyce and Julian Knowle. (Who? Exactly.)