Picture this: the sight of Usain Bolt blitzing his opponents in the Olympic Games while setting hard to beat records. Again, imagine the great Michael Jordan making an elite group of professional basketball players look ordinary. It gets you thinking, are these guys normal? This begs the question, are people born to be athletes? On the other hand, some athletes were in no way born to be athletes, but through hard work and commitment, they have become successful professional athletes. This article takes a closer look at whether people are born as professional athletes, or they in fact, make themselves professional athletes.
Professional Athletes Are Born
Science lends some credence to the assertion that individuals are born exceptional. They possess the genes that are likely to enhance sports performance and create professional athletes. Experts suggest that there are genes that influence various aspects of athleticism. They have studies that show that factors like endurance, speed, strength, flexibility, lung capacity, muscle type, and others are influenced by what you are born with.
Evidence of this assertion is seen in the presence of The ACTN3 Gene (sometimes known as the Gene for speed) and ACE gene, which are responsible for producing the muscle proteins for slow and fast-twitch muscle fibers. These, in turn, manifest physically as endurance and strength needed for sports performance, such as athletes that go on to horse race at the Grand National, cycle in the Tour de France, swim in the olympics or sprint at the commonwealth Games. Further evidence of athletes being born is seen in their physical appearances. Some people are born and get the body size and height that are suited to specific sports.
A great example is seen with height. Some professional athletes are born and shoot up to a height of about 8.01 ft (2.45 m). Heights that are more than suitable for basketball, volleyball, and other sports in which tall height is an advantage. On the other hand, other athletes grow and remain as short as 5.15 ft (1.57 m).
Professional Athletes Are Made
On the other side of this uniquely interesting argument is the assertion that professional athletes are made. This idea focuses energy on the role of external factors like diet and exercise in making athletes. This has merit as some of the best athletes the world has seen were not naturally gifted. Nutrition is a factor that has a lot of emphasis placed on in the world of sports. Studies show that eating the right meals in their proper proportions help to build the body and muscles needed for professional sports. Practice makes perfect. The amount of training is another element that supports the idea of nurture over nature. It not only improves your skill but helps you to familiarize yourself with the sport and its rules. These allow the athletes to see the game in a different light and improves their performance IQs and levels. A fusion of these and other external factors yield professional athletes who perform exceptionally or even better than their naturally gifted counterparts.
Both schools of thought are neither right nor wrong. A professional sportsperson may be naturally endowed with all the skills and talent, but a failure to work hard means they will not reach the highest heights of their potential. Meanwhile, external factors alone are not a guarantee to produce a professional athlete. A mix of nature and nurture is more likely to yield high-performance professional athletes as compared to either nature or nurture. Indeed, Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.