Cover of: The sports gene | David J. Epstein

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An edition of The sports gene (2013)

The sports gene

inside the science of extraordinary athletic performance

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This edition published in

Written in English

338 pages

This book explores the roles of both genetics and training in athletic success, arguing that both are equally necessary components of athletic achievement while considering such topics as race, gender, and genetic testing.We all knew a star athlete in high school. The one who made it look so easy. He was the starting quarterback and shortstop; she was the all-state point guard and high-jumper. Naturals. Or were they? The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? The truth is far messier than a simple dichotomy between nature and nurture. In the decade since the sequencing of the human genome, researchers have slowly begun to uncover how the relationship between biological endowments and a competitor's training environment affects athleticism. Sports scientists have gradually entered the era of modern genetic research. In this exploration of athletic success, the author, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated magazine tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle. He investigates the so-called 10,000-hour rule to uncover whether rigorous and consistent practice from a young age is the only route to athletic excellence. Along the way, he dispels many of our perceptions about why top athletes excel. He shows why some skills that we assume are innate, like the bullet-fast reactions of a baseball or cricket batter, are not, and why other characteristics that we assume are entirely voluntary, like an athlete's will to train, might in fact have important genetic components. Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator and above the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists and Olympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutations or physical traits, the author forces us to rethink the very nature of athleticism.

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The sports gene First published in 2013



Work Description

This book explores the roles of both genetics and training in athletic success, arguing that both are equally necessary components of athletic achievement while considering such topics as race, gender, and genetic testing.We all knew a star athlete in high school. The one who made it look so easy. He was the starting quarterback and shortstop; she was the all-state point guard and high-jumper. Naturals. Or were they? The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? The truth is far messier than a simple dichotomy between nature and nurture. In the decade since the sequencing of the human genome, researchers have slowly begun to uncover how the relationship between biological endowments and a competitor's training environment affects athleticism. Sports scientists have gradually entered the era of modern genetic research. In this exploration of athletic success, the author, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated magazine tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle. He investigates the so-called 10,000-hour rule to uncover whether rigorous and consistent practice from a young age is the only route to athletic excellence. Along the way, he dispels many of our perceptions about why top athletes excel. He shows why some skills that we assume are innate, like the bullet-fast reactions of a baseball or cricket batter, are not, and why other characteristics that we assume are entirely voluntary, like an athlete's will to train, might in fact have important genetic components. Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator and above the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists and Olympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutations or physical traits, the author forces us to rethink the very nature of athleticism.

Edition Description

This book explores the roles of both genetics and training in athletic success, arguing that both are equally necessary components of athletic achievement while considering such topics as race, gender, and genetic testing.We all knew a star athlete in high school. The one who made it look so easy. He was the starting quarterback and shortstop; she was the all-state point guard and high-jumper. Naturals. Or were they? The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? The truth is far messier than a simple dichotomy between nature and nurture. In the decade since the sequencing of the human genome, researchers have slowly begun to uncover how the relationship between biological endowments and a competitor's training environment affects athleticism. Sports scientists have gradually entered the era of modern genetic research. In this exploration of athletic success, the author, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated magazine tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle. He investigates the so-called 10,000-hour rule to uncover whether rigorous and consistent practice from a young age is the only route to athletic excellence. Along the way, he dispels many of our perceptions about why top athletes excel. He shows why some skills that we assume are innate, like the bullet-fast reactions of a baseball or cricket batter, are not, and why other characteristics that we assume are entirely voluntary, like an athlete's will to train, might in fact have important genetic components. Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator and above the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists and Olympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutations or physical traits, the author forces us to rethink the very nature of athleticism.

Table of Contents

In search of sports genes
Beat by an underhand girl: the gene-free model of expertise
A tale of two high jumpers (or: 10,000 hours plus or minus 10,000 hours)
Major league vision and the greatest child athlete sample ever: the hardware and software paradigm
Why men have nipples
The talent of trainability
Superbaby, bully whippets, and the trainability of muscle
The big bang of body types
The vitruvian NBA player
We are all black (sort of): race and genetic diversity
The warrior-slave theory of Jamaican sprinting
Malaria and muscle fibers
Can every Kalenjin run?
The world's greatest accidental (altitudinous) talent sieve
Sled dogs, ultrarunners, and couch potato genes
The heartbreak gene: death, injury, and pain on the field
The gold medal mutation
The perfect athlete.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-328) and index.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
613.7/1
Library of Congress
RC1235 .E58 2013

The Physical Object

Pagination
xiv, 338 pages
Number of pages
338

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL26889279M
Internet Archive
sportsgeneinside0000epst
ISBN 10
1591845114
ISBN 13
9781591845119
LC Control Number
2013013443
OCLC/WorldCat
836557840

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History

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May 17, 2020 Edited by CoverBot Added new cover
October 16, 2019 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
July 18, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
May 15, 2019 Created by Clean Up Bot Imported from marc_openlibraries_phillipsacademy MARC record.