I just ready an interesting article in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated — Sports Genes by David Epstein. In this article, the author discusses the role of genetics in sports performance and he alludes to the concept of genetically engineering the perfect athlete. An interesting history of human evolution is also presented that examines the role of endurance running, the quest for meat, and the development of bipedal man (cool stuff from an anthropological standpoint).
The author then jumps into genetics, and the concepts of gene therapy and gene doping, the kind of stuff that makes you wonder what the heck we are doing and what lies ahead in our future.
Anyway, the part that struck me was his reference to a quote by Wayne Gretzky “maybe it wasn’t the talent the Lord gave me, maybe it was the passion.”
Is there such thing as the perfect athlete?
What if you were not born into this world with the “right” genes?
Should we genetically test our children after birth to see if they are “pro” material.
Or, perhaps we need to look at the other side of the coin and realize that yes, some athletes are born athletes, but a good percentage of pro athletes are playing at that level because of their passion for their sport, their hard work throughout the years, and their ability to develop the mental side of their game. So if you are one of the many that are not genetically gifted, don’t give up on your dreams, you can overcome these obstacles through hard work, passion, and the development of your mental game.