The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
In high school, I wondered whether the Jamaican Americans who made our track team so successful might carry some special speed gene from their tiny island. In college, I ran against Kenyans, and wondered whether endurance genes might have traveled with them from East Africa. At the same time, I bega ...more
Epstein does so very well. He write from data and ...more
While it has always been in the interest of athletes to take the credit for their achievements, genetic research is showing that some athletes have it much easier when it comes to performance in certain sports. This, for example, is rather unfortunate for people (view spoiler)[ (myself included) (hide spoiler)] who have always wanted to play in the NBA. With an arm-span ...more
Like a good writer, Epstein includes plenty of anecdotes, quotes, and stories that humanize the book and make it enjoyable to read. And he adds the occasional analogy to clarify the science ("it's both hardware and software.")
Like a good reporter, Epstein has evaluated numerous research studies to accompany his stories and support his point of view. How ...more
"The Sports Gene" is an enjoyable book that shares the latest of modern genetic research as it relates to elite athleticism. In the never-ending quest to settle the debate of nature versus nature, David Epstein takes the readers on a journey into sports and tries to answer how much does each contribute. This fascinating 352-page book includes the following sixteen chapters: 1. Beat by an Underhand Girl: Th ...more
For as long as competitive athletics have existed, we have sought understanding of what allows a good athlete to become great or a great athlete to become truly elite. Is greatness destined, present since birth on a genetic level? Or is it possible for an athlete to become great through hard work and a beneficial environment? The argument has gone on for years, with plenty of good reasons to come down on either side.
So – nature or nurture? Which is it?
This is a fascinating read, delving into science and its inextricable link to practice and performance. I respect the fearlessness Epstein demonstrates as he explores genetics, its link to geography, and its connection to elite athleticism.
(Some genes, like the one for the degenerative brain disease, Huntington's, are rather deterministic. If you have the genetic defect for Huntington's, you WILL get the disease.) Many other ...more
There were so many fascinating anecdotes in here that if you like sports or science (or not) I ...more
This book is partially a reaction to Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers with its famous rule that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is a necessary and sufficient condition for mastery, and it fits into the larger literature on the influences of nature and nurture on human performance. But I'm going to take a more personal approach to this review.
My sport of choice is Crossfit, a blend of gymnastics, weightlifting, and running. I was in an Internet Argument with a fellow Crossfitter, and to make a rhe...more
When it comes to sports science, esp ...more