When it comes to sports, people like to typecast themselves. Some of us are naturally athletically inclied. Others are more cerebral, preferring to exercise the mind instead of the body. Some are both.
It raises an interesting question, though. Is being good at sports something that comes naturally for people? Or is it the result of nurture?
Over recent years, science has been catching up to answer this question. And the results chime well with instinct. It turns out that some people really are better at sports than others.
When you look at the effectiveness of practice on ability, you find something interesting. Some people can improve massively with only minimal practice. Others hardly get anywhere at all, despite putting in the same time and effort.
It seems, therefore, that some people were born to be athletes.
People who believe in the nurture side of the argument point out that attitudes towards training could be influencing outcomes. Somebody who had parents who were positive towards sports might be more willing to get good at them unconsciously than a person with parents who were opposed. But ignoring complexities like these, the evidence so far seems to suggest that athleticism is inherent. Some people have it – others don’t.
So how can you tell you were born to be an athlete?
You Like To Exercise
A lot of people loathe exercise from a young age. Again, whether this has to do with the environment or not isn’t entirely clear. But with that said, many people genuinely like the feeling of it. Something that continues no matter what they eat or do.
Running is perhaps the most significant indicator that you like to exercise. It is the most challenging exercise out there. It is something people only do if they’re on a massive health kick. If you like doing it, then it could be a sign that you’re set up for sportiness in general. You don’t quickly get out of breath. And your joints don’t hurt either.
You Like to Eat Healthy
Most people enjoy eating refined carbohydrates and processed meat, usually in combination with each other. But these foods are anathema to your athletic ambitions. You’ll develop health problems rapidly if you go down this route. And you won’t feel like moving.
Scientists investigated this issue specifically. They fed animals more food than they would usually eat and then took note of their physical activity levels. What they found was remarkable. The more animals ate, the less active they wanted to be.
The evolutionary reasons for this make a lot of sense. If you don’t have many calories coming in. Then it is important that you get out and look for food. You need to feel energetic if you are going to hunt down a deer. Similarly, if your belly is full, there isn’t a great need for you to move.
You Love to Practice
If you spent your childhood in a backyard batting cage, there’s a good chance that you’re a naturally sports oriented person. For you, doing drills was fun. You liked the fact that you could feel yourself getting better with every swing of the bat, each ball in the basket, each long drive off the tee.
If drills remained a part of your life, even when you stopped attending classes. You really are an athletically inclined. Many people who love physical fitness will continue going through the motions. Even when they stopped benefiting from them years ago. They love the sensation of movement and want it to remain a part of their lives.
Your Friends All Played Sports Growing Up
Communities tend to constellate around various themes. Some people gather together for spiritual reasons. Others get together because they want to make a difference in their community.
Sports is one of these hubs that draws people together. It provides everyone with a sense of purpose and shared interest. It creates community. And it gives people a chance to do something active when they spend time together.
You can usually tell people who were athletically inclined. Odd are they spent most of their childhoods in sports oriented communities. The local tennis club or soccer fraternity was the place they spent the majority of their free time.
You Naturally Want To Achieve Greatness
A lot of people are okay with living out their days without achieving anything particularly remarkable. Life is already full of enough challenges. Adding more to the pile isn’t always something that they want to do.
Others, however, love the idea of a challenge. It’s what gets them up in the morning. And it helps them feel like they’re moving towards a final goal.
If you’re the sort of person who naturally wants to achieve greatness. Then being an athlete will come naturally. You don’t mind spending your life training, eating a perfect diet, and going to bed early. You know that if you want to be at your best, that’s what you have to do. You’re comfortable with sacrifice.
You Have An Athletic Build
This one is tricky. As there is no homogenous athletic build. How nature constructed your body, however, makes a massive difference on the pitch. For examply, Danny Devito could spend his entire life training for the 110M hurdles. Still, he’s never going to be able to compete on a professional level. Yet, his low to the ground stature might have made him a natural college wrestler.
The point? Different athletes, have different builds. People who take part in sprints are bulkier than those who run long distances. Those who throw shot putts are bulkier than divers.
The good news, therefore, is that quite a lot of people fall into this category. According to research, around 52 percent of the amount of activity that a person gets daily is genetic. The rest of it is up to the conscious effort of the individual.
You Had Good Coaching
Coaches have a profound impact on the way that their students see sports. When coaches are good at what they do, they can deliver inspiration that stays with a person for the rest of their lives. Even decades later, their advice is still circling around in your brain.
Great coaches are rare, indeed. But you always know that you’ve had one. That’s because you remember what they said and regularly pass on their wisdom to other people.
On the other hand, if you had a bad coach, you may come to view sports more negatively than if you’d never had one before. Some people go their entire lives hating exercise, just because of how they were made to feel during high school. The effects of lousy teaching can reverberate for years, making a person who could actually be quite good avoid sport.
Your Parents Encouraged Exercise
Finally, if your parents were active while you were younger, you probably will be too.
Children tend to mirror the behaviors of their parents. If, for instance, they learn from their caregivers that you should shout in arguments, they will do the same. Similarly, they will take note of whether you eat your vegetables and copy you accordingly.
The same applies to kids and sport. If children observe their parents going out for regular cycle rides or competing in local football, then they are more likely to want to as well.
So, were you born to be an athlete? As you can see, many things have to come together for genuine athleticism to emerge. Some people are naturally an athlete from the moment they’re born and attracted to specific disciplines as they grow up. Others have a rockier road to athleticism.
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