How is athleticism developed?


| 3 Comments
Everybody is unique in almost every single way. From musical talent, to cognition, to communication skills; no two are alike. This especially applies to athleticism in sports. Growing up playing little league baseball and soccer, the talent difference between the best player and the worst was marginal, but not outstanding. However, as one grows and continues their respective sport, the gap in talent and ability widens. Why does this happen?

Many people associate athleticism with innate ability and genes passed on through their family, but in fact that is very little of it. Besides physical structure, genes do not play as large as a role as presumed. In fact, practice at a young age will improve athletic ability by extraordinary measures. From hand eye coordination, to speed, to quickness and so on,  practice at a young age is imperative.

I am not completely disregarding genes but in fact downplaying the importance. Yes, obviously genetics plays an enormous role in the athletic process, but it is not everything. Everyone remembers the saying "Practice makes perfect", well it actually does if you do it enough. Without the ambition to become a great athlete at a young age, it would be nearly impossible to reach the peak of their athletic ability. What do you think is the one deciding factor in athleticism?

http://seattletimes.com/html/stevekelley/2003829804_kelley10.html
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/anatomyandphysiology/a/genetics.htm

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3 Comments

I love this post! I have to agree that practice at a young age can improve athletic ability tremendously. I think one of the deciding factors in athleticism is an individuals drive to succeed and make themselves and their teammates (if applicable) better. I actually stumbled on an interesting article discussing parents and children and sports which discusses ideas on how parents can get their children involved in sports and athleticism. http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/816201/your-seemingly-non-athletic-child-1 It's pretty interesting. As being the daughter of a mother who was an athlete all through high school, I wonder if I can thank her for the slightest amount of my athleticism. I guess more research will tell!

I completely agree that while there is certainly some connection between genetics and athletic ability, practice is what makes the athlete. Look at Tiger Woods, he was playing golf by the time he was 3, sure he was born with some talent, but he became the greatest golfer in the world by practicing every day for years and years. Michael Jordan used to shoot hundreds of shots everyday and was cut from his high school basketball team, but practice turned him into the greatest basketball player ever. The biggest connection I put to this blog was Todd Marinovich. His dad put him on a strict training and eating program, and by the time he got to college he was considered "the perfect quarterback". Although he crumbled under the pressure of that title and developed a drug problem never living up the hype, clearly the absurd amount of time spent practicing and training is what made Marinovich the quarterback he was. For more information on Marinovich and his upbringing, here is a link to an article written in 1990 about Marinovich and how he became the star quarterback he was then, prior to his downfall: http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/24/sports/football-making-quarterback-usc-s-marinovich-was-raised-according-game-plan.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

I agree with you. I think the life style of an individual affects the most when it comes to abilities. As we talked about last class, how one practice an ability is important as much as the gene. I found an article about the gene ACTN3. There is a company that provide a service for $149, "it says it will screen for variants of the gene" (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=genes-sports-talent) Then, i got to wonder what about the prenatal education? I heard it can determine ones talents too. Then is it all about how much one is exposed to certain things like music, literature and so on? You blog left me with so many questions!

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