Have you ever wondered if your parental Genes could affect your performance as an athlete?
You might have heard a lot of times that Genes indeed do affect how well we would perform in any kind of sport.
This blog post is all about Genes and it’s affect on modern day sports.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a health specialist. This blog post is solely an expression of what I have read, observed and found from my research as well as personal experience on the affect of Genes into one’s athletic performance. Don’t blindly trust whatever I say, (although I always put my source of information) and always do your own research if you feel that you have to.
So first of all,
What are Genes?
In laymen language, Genes are the expression of our DNA, how our hereditary path is formed and expressed in our own human body.
The way we look, the way we behave, talk, perceive things, all is because of our Genes.
For example, someone with Germanic genes, or as they call it in German language, Völkerwanderung, would be having naturally heavy and long bones, as compared to a person of African descent.
Such a person would do wonders in the sport of Wrestling but would fail miserably in marathons or distance running.
When Genes actually matter
“The best-studied genes associated with athletic performance are ACTN3 and ACE. These genes influence the fibre type that makes up muscles, and they have been linked to strength and endurance.” – Medlineplus – is Athletic Performance determined by genetics?
When you think of sports that are highly demanding from a strength point of view in nature, what kind of sports do you think of?
- Weight lifting
There might be more that I have not added on this list, but my point is that all these sports have always had world champions or elites that have come mostly from a European background or ancestry. (Modern-day boxing is overshadowed by American champions, not because of strength advantage but because of heavy marketing, won’t explain that right now as that can be another article some other day.)
Some good articles to read :-
Coming on to the other side of sports, the kind which require endurance and stamina, what do you think of?
- Long-distance running
- Football/Soccer (my favourite)
How is it that almost all the champions and elites in these fields of sports, come majorly from Africa, South and Eastern Asia?
Indians dominate the world of Cricket, Africans dominate the world of Marathons and running, Chinese dominate the world of Badminton, Table Tennis and Squash.
A lesson to be learned here.
However, are genes everything that decide our success or failure in sports right from the start? Probably not.
When Genes do not matter
I have been going for the most part of this article on how Genes do matter in our athletic success, but a part of me and science, still believes that a delusional belief solely on genes will get you nowhere, just like blind faith is only as good as no faith at all.
“The blind faith will lead you somewhere, but not to your destination.” – Chanakya, Indian teacher/economist/philosopher
Do you really think that just because you are blessed by endurance rich African genes or strength blessed Germanic genes that you can sit on a couch all day long, eating potato chips and drinking soda and still ace a 400m race or a weightlifting competition just like that?
Talent can never be a substitute for hard work, it never was and never will.
Of course, if you will be an Olympic gold medalist or not does depend partly on your genes and ancestry, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up all hope and not try your craft in a sport at all, or be foolishly overconfident as well.
So if you are an athlete reading my article, or a young fellow who aspires to be a world champion one day, believe in yourself and do what you do best, your hard work will reward you on it’s own when the time comes.