Book Review- The Sports Gene

The Sports Gene
by David Epstein, 2013


This book includes a very interesting discussion of nature vs. nurture with regard to high performance athletes. While there were certain chapters on specific gene mutations/disorders that led to certain abnormally good athletes, the main takeaway (to me) is that your genes will predispose you for certain sports. Tall -> basketball. Lots of fast-twitch muscles -> sprinter. Lots of slow-twitch muscles -> marathoner. Training (the 10,000 hour rule, which is really the 1,000 to 40,000 hour rule) will help and can sometimes overcome genetic deficiencies, but genes play a bigger role in athletics than most people realize.

We listened to this book on tape. While the material is good, the reading was done by the author and was particularly bad. Note to authors: Don’t do a recording of your own book in which you try to imitate other people’s voices if you can’t do accents. All attempts to do so here were grating to my ears.

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