Characters In The Sports Gene By David Epstein

Topics: Malcolm Gladwell, Tendon, Blink Pages: 4 (785 words) Published: January 16, 2018


Where does talent come from? Is it forged in the sweat and tears of hard work or in our natural born abilities? This has been debated for a very long time now and many authors have given their point of view on the situation. In The Sports Gene, a non-fiction text by David Epstein tells that talent comes from innate abilities and these abilities allow for little training to be needed to be successful. He talks about how our biological image can carry us to success. In Outliers: The Story of Success another non-fiction text by Malcolm Gladwell, he tells that talent comes from the number of hours practiced, specifically 10,000 hours, and gives very good evidence with experts and studies to support his claim. Both stories gave great evidence...

It all started with a simple bet that he couldn’t clear a 6'6" pole but he did it easily. Then he kept going higher and higher until they realized he had very good natural ability. With zero experience in the sport he was already winning competitions and events. He then even went on to compete against the best of the best at the world championships. He competed against athletes who have been training for their whole lives and Thomas has only been training for a mere 8 months. Thomas won the competition defeating the disciplined and hard-working Holm so research was done on him to explain how. In a study done by Masaki Ishikawa he determined that the key to Thomas's success lied in his giant Achilles tendon which is essential in jumping. Another researcher, Gary Hunt found that a longer Achilles tendon allows for more power through stretching and then compressing. It works like a spring and allows for more height. This gave Thomas a huge advantage over the rest of the athletes with a natural born trait. Unfortunately, the Achilles tendon is not really impacted by training so those who unluckily didn’t get one like Thomas were at a disadvantage from the start. Since Epstein only gives one example of someone who has success born in their genes and that it is all based on that one Achilles tendon...

In the text Gladwell says that it takes at least 10,000 hours to be really good at something and the more practice you put in the better you will be. In a study done by Anders Ericsson and two colleagues they divided a group of violinists into 3 groups. The first group consisted of the ones who would become high end musicians and make it all the way to the top. The second group was the merely good ones who were not terrible but would never go anywhere. The final group was the ones who were not very good and had no intentions to be more than music teachers. They determined through this study that all the best students also did the most practicing and put in the most work. It also says that by the age of twenty the ones who wanted to become the elite performers had their 10,000 hours. In another study that Gladwell uses by Daniel Levitin he says that in study after study of every group from sports to musicians the 10,000 number keeps coming up. He also says that no professional has ever just floated to the top. His last and best example is an example of Mozart. He says that Mozart did not produce any good pieces until his later works when he became more experienced. By the time his first great work was produced he was composing for 10 years. All the examples Gladwell gives show that his argument is much better. He has better and more supported...
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