The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

Epilogue: The Perfect Athlete

  • If every athlete is the world had the same genes, only environment and practice would determine who made it to the Olympics. If every athlete trained the same way, only their genes would separate performance on the field. Top athletes all have the right body type, muscle fiber profile, and other traits necessary for success in their sport along with a training program that make the most of the raw materials. Another key point is the the best training program for one top athlete is not necessarily the best for another. If one program doesn’t work, try another. The world’s top sprinter Usain Bolt wanted to be a cricket player, for example. We all have a different set of genes so we all have a training program that is best for us. One-size-fits-all programs don’t fix all.
  • (Doug: It’s clear to me that one-size-fits-all education programs are not what we need. Expecting all students to measure up to the same standards in the same time frame with the same instruction makes no sense. What we need is more individualized learning along with the ability to move a one’s own pace as if school were more like a foot race. In a mile run we don’t send laggards back to the starting line because the fail to reach an arbitrary time. In schools, however, we send kids back to the beginning if they don’t finish by June rather than letting them finish when the finish. Finally we need to be tolerant of a variety of outcomes and get out of the way of the fast learners.)
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2 Responses to “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein”

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