Review: The Sports Gene

Sports Gene Book Cover
Sports Gene Book Cover

Nature-nurture has been a forever hot debate in every aspect of life, including sports competition. We are wondering whether our favorite athlete is a hard-worker or just a human-being blessed by a great luck.

David Epstein presents Sports Gene where he reveals the complicated truth beyond innate talent and practice. As an acclaimed sports journalist and award-winning writer, Eipstein provides a well-explanation investigative piece of what actually matters to be an excellent athlete.

In all likelihood, we over ascribe our skills and traits to either innate talent or training, depending on what fits our personal narratives.

David Epstein, The Sports Gene

Epstein arouses the reader’s critical thinking with provocative enigma. It starts with exploring whether human has certain gene that decide our athleticism. Turns out, gene is not the single determinant in human performance but the principle of 10,000-hour rule—the theory popularized by Malcolm Gladwell— also matters. However, in facts, some people still could be an expertise with training less than 10,000 hours. Besides, if it is indeed true that practice is crucial, why do female and male compete in separate categories in sport?

This is an enticing book to anyone who interested in human performance and sports science. Epstein highlights the importance to understand that we all are unique in our own way which means there is no kind of one-size-fits-all sports training program, just like it is impossible to have one-size-fits-all medicine. As Dr. J. M. Tanner, a renowned growth expert, said “Everyone has a different genotype. Therefore, for optimal development, everyone should have a different environment.”


Author: David Epstein

Publication date: 1 August 2013

Publisher: Current

Number of pages: 338 pages


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