The Sports Gene David Epstein Analysis

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The idea of “innate talent” or being labeled as a “natural” is quite often tossed around, and has been a heavily debated topic for many years. David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, explains how two high jumpers ended up in the same world class competition even though one had over 20 years of practice and experience while the other had roughly only a year of practice. He claims that innate talent is by far more important than practice when determining one’s success. On the other hand, Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers: The Story of Success, explains that humans themselves have more control over their success than their genes do and that this is evident especially in music. Based on the evidence provided from both Epstein and Gladwell, it is clear that Gladwell’s argument that we control most of what happens in our lives is much stronger. In, The Sports Gene, David Epstein claims that genetics can lead to major success, as two high jumpers with over 20 years difference in practice were able to compete at the same competitive level. Epstein first introduces Donald Thomas, the novice high jumper who seems to defy the idea that practice is the best way to achieve. Fast forward roughly eight months, to the World Championships where Thomas will face the best of the best in the world. His main competition, Stefan Holm, had been working at his craft of high jumping for over 20 years at this point, and was now at the same stage as a rookie with less than one year of training

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