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I have always wondered what it is that makes some of us great in sports while others are great cheerers on the sidelines. I mean, that what happens when I watch my husband play on the court (I’m his number one fan since high school! Whatever team he plays on, I’m FTW–For Their Win!).

It might be because I’m not exceptionally good at sports; on the other hand, he is so hype when playing one. Is it because of gender? Maybe not, because I’ve heard the names like Lydia de Vega and Alyssa Valdes priding our country in the sports they’re in. So, what really makes someone an extraordinary athlete? Is it the long hours of training or the gift of their DNA’s special recipe?

Genetics are at Play.

Genes are just one of those things we can’t do anything about; we can’t control what genes are given to us by our dear parents and there is nothing we can do to change them. They make up almost every aspect of who we are— including our physical attributes (height, body mass, the length of our torso, etc.)  Also, having a parent who is innately sportive will also give you a better advantage.

The combination of genes can create some unusual proportions and can make a body suitable for sports. However, genes can only “potentially” shape us to excel in sports. Genes are given freely but the rest is up to us. If someone with great athletic gene make up lives an unhealthy life and never trains, he may never reach that potential. It means that an individual with athletic genes does not automatically cause them to be a great athlete. The individual is only given the potential to be great; they still need to work hard in order to achieve their potential.

Practice Makes Perfect.

It’s become a catch phrase that to practice is important. Working out on the gym and training hard can help you achieve your potentials. Have you heard of the 10,000 hours of effortful practice?  It is both necessary and sufficient to achieve excellence in almost everything. It originated in 10 violinists who already were highly pre-screened [for their ability], so much of humanity was already screened out since it focused on high performing violinists at a world class academy. Among those performers, they accumulated more than 10,000 hours of practice by age 20, and were better than people who accumulated less practice.

The 10,000 hours of practice might help, but it’s not just practice that makes perfect. It’s the commitment to practice that makes it exceptional. Practice is the number one predictor of how good somebody gets at anything. Committed and intense practice hones natural athletic skills — skills that may be useless at something we haven’t practiced.

My Takeaway

Some people are more genetically inclined to be more athletic. But it doesn’t end there. If you have this “sport gene” as they say and you want to excel on it, you have to hone it. The commitment to train and give time to flourish it makes a difference.


About The Author

Andrea is a full time home maker. When she is not busy taking care of her husband and kids, she goes out giving financial management talks. She is a proud breastfeeding mom for four years running and an avid Oleia Topical Oil user.