Sports Gene: What Makes the Perfect Athlete

Sports Gene: What Makes the Perfect Athlete

Hardback

By (author) David Epstein

List price $26.69

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  • Publisher: YELLOW JERSEY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 14mm | 260g
  • Publication date: 29 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0224091611
  • ISBN 13: 9780224091619
  • Sales rank: 93,360

Product description

This is shortlisted for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2013. Is Usain Bolt a superhuman one-off? Are sports stars like Paula Radcliffe and Tiger Woods born or made? Could we all be Olympians if we trained hard enough? And is the answer to be found by looking at Alaskan huskies? In this ground-breaking and entertaining exploration of athletic success, award-winning writer David Epstein gets to the heart of the great nature vs. nurture debate, and explodes myths about why top sportsmen excel. Along the way Epstein exposes the flaws in the so-called 10,000-hour rule that states that rigorous practice from a young age is the only route to success. He shows why some skills that we imagine are innate are not - like the bullet-fast reactions of a baseball player - and why other characteristics that we assume are entirely voluntary, like an athlete's will to train, might in fact have important genetic components. Through on-the ground reports at locations ranging from below the equator to above the Arctic Circle, revealing conversations with leading scientists and Olympic champions, and interviews with athletes who have rare genetic mutations or physical traits, Epstein forces us to rethink the very nature of sport.

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Author information

David Epstein is an award-winning senior writer for Sports Illustrated, where he covers sports science, medicine, and Olympic sports. His investigative pieces are among Sports Illustrated's most high-profile stories. An avid runner himself, he earned All-East honours on Columbia University's varsity track squad. This is his first book.

Review quote

"A wonderful book. Thoughtful... fascinating." -- Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers "Provides a powerful and convincing analysis of how genes influence all our lives, especially the careers of elite sportsmen" The Times "A fascinating, thought-provoking look at the leading edge of sports performance, written by a guy who knows the territory. David, besides being a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, was a collegiate runner for Columbia University. More to the point, he's a terrific researcher and a fine, thoughtful writer" -- Dan Coyle, author of The Talent Code "Full credit to David Epstein, a Sports Illustrated journalist with a serious and deep knowledge of genetics and sports science, for his terrific and unblinking new book, The Sports Gene, a timely corrective to the talent-denial industry" -- Ed Smith New Statesman "Endlessly fascinating" -- John Harding Daily Mail "Epstein's book does not try to simplify the argument, but it does provide a welcome corrective to those who have deliberately underplayed the notion that genetic make-up is irrelevant" -- Mike Atherton The Times "David Epstein's illuminating synthesis of the latest research into the nature v nurture debate as applied to sport" -- Simon Redfern Independent "Provoking spirited debate about the merits of the 10,000 hour rule" -- Rick Broadbent The Times