The Sports Gene – David Epstein

July 11, 2015

I don’t ever recall reading or seeing many books about the science of athleticism, in particular, one the handles the subject of genetics and the athletic body. The Sports Gene not only educates, but it provokes thought and introspection.

Who hasn’t wondered why some athletes run faster or longer, are stronger or have better hand eye coordination?   The Sports Gene tackles these subjects, with such chapter titles as; “The Warrior-Slave Theory of Jamaican Sprinting”, “Beat by an Underhand Girl”, “The Talent of Trainability” and “The Big Bang of Body Types”. Each chapter presents the condition, such as why Jamaican’s are world class sprinters which is a small island, and then Epstein proceeds to present his theory using data, interviews and examples.

There is plenty to chew on as far as what it takes to become an elite athlete and the theories behind practice and developing muscle memory.  This book attempts to develop theories about the debate of nature versus nature. I appreciate that Epstein engages the readers and keeps the science at a very accessible level. Epstein also skillfully handles the topic of genetics and race which is always a sensitive subject.

I am ready to reread the book because I poured through it so fast because of it being so intriguing.  Every sports fan should read this book because you will never look the same at elite athletes again.  You will begin to understand how they become elite and how they separate themselves from other competitors. As far as you me gaining to insight to how we can improve our athletic prowess, practice, practice, practice.