On the road to sports success, young athletes need two ingredients, innate skills and the willingness and determination to get better. We all know boys and girls who showed early promise that got them noticed but then didn’t have the drive to practice every day to develop that talent. Often labeled lazy or unmotivated, the assumption was that they chose their own path by not working hard.
However, new research shows evidence that genetics may play a role not only in the natural abilities of a developing superstar but also in their practice persistence and physiological response to training.
In his bestselling book The Sports Gene, David Epstein introduced us to the notion that your inherited genes may affect how your body reacts to training, both psychologically and physiologically. He references an ongoing project at the University of Miami, known as Genetics of Exercise and Research (GEAR), whose stated purpose is: “to identify genetic biomarkers and environmental risk factors that are associated with variation in exercise response among participants who undergo a 12 week exercise protocol.”