The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

By David Epstein
The "New York Times" bestseller with a new afterword about early specialization in youth sports.
The debate is as old as physical competition. Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training?


In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success and the so-called 10,000-hour rule, David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving it. Through on-the-ground reporting from below the equator and 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 athleticism."



    REVIEW QUOTES
"Fascinating." --Malcom Gladwell "Captivating" --"The New York Times" "Deliciously contrarian." --"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) "A must-read for athletes, parents, coaches, and anyone who wants to know what it takes to be great." --George Dohrmann, author of "Play Their Hearts Out"
"I can't remember a book that has fascinated, educated--and provoked--me as much as "The Sports Gene". Epstein has changed forever the way we measure elite athletes and their achievements." --Malcom Gladwell "Clear, vivid, and thought-provoking writing that cuts through science anxiety for rank-and-file sports fans." --Bonnie Ford, Senior Writer, ESPN "Many researchers and writers are reluctant to tackle genetic issues because they fear the quicksand of racial and ethnic stereotyping. To his credit, Epstein does not flinch." --"The Washington Post " "Epstein's rigour in seeking answers and insights is as impressive as the air miles he must have accumulated . . . his book is dazzling and illuminating." --"The Guardian" "Few will put down this deliciously contrarian exploration of great athletic feats." --"Kirkus Reviews "(Starred Review) "The narrative follows Mr. Epstein's search for the roots of elite sport performance as he encounters characters and stories so engrossing that readers may not realize they're receiving an advanced course in genetics, physiology, and sports medicine." --Christie Aschwanden, "The New York Times" "An important book . . . "The Sports Gene "is bound to put the cat among the pigeons in the blank-slate crowd who think that we can all be equal as long as we equalize environmental inputs such as practice." --Michael Shermer, "The Wall Street Journal" "This is the book I've been waiting for since the early 1960s. I can't imagine that anyone interested in sports--particularly the fascinating question, 'How do the best athletes become the best?'--will be any less enthralled than I." --Amby Burfoot, (1968 Boston Marathon Champion), "Runner's World" "A must-read for athletes, parents, coaches, and anyone who wants to know what it takes to be great." --George Dohrmann, author of "Play Their Hearts Out"
""If you have any interest in being at the forefront of change in the sports industry you have to read this book. "The Sports Gene" goes far beyond cliche and digs into the science that every professional sports team will have to incorporate into their thinking. It is a must read."" -- MARK CUBAN, owner, Dallas Mavericks; chairman, AXS TV; author of "How to Win at The Sport of Business ""In "The Sports Gene "David Epstein blows up the notion that 10,000 hours is all that is required for dominance in a sport and reveals the true complexity behind excellence." " "--DARYL MOREY, Houston Rockets general manager; cofounder of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference" ""There has been nothing like this: a strong yet accessible review of the science and genetics of sports wrapped in personal stories. It will cause readers of all stripes to question their assumptions about just what it takes to become an elite athlete." " "--STEPHEN M. ROTH, exercise physiologist and director of the Functional Genomics Lab, University of Maryland" ""Truly a groundbreaking work, contemporary sports journalism at its best. After reading Epstein's superb book--by turns a travelogue, highly readable primer on sports science, and string of ""who knew? ""anecdotes--you will never watch sports the same way again." " "--L. JON WERTHEIM, coauthor of "Scorecasting ""Step by surprising step, David Epstein takes our hand, grips our mind, and leads us deeper and deeper into the fascinating jungle of sports and genetics . . . until we finally begin to ""see ""the miracle we've been watching in our stadiums and on our TV screens all our lives." " "--GARY SMITH, "Sports Illustrated "writer" "and four-time National Magazine Award winner" ""David Epstein offers the definitive account of what does and does not make an athlete elite. By myth-busting conventional thinking and offering new insights, Epstein has created a must-read for athletes, parents,



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About the Paperback

Publisher Current
Publish date 04/29/2014
Pages 368
ISBN-13 9781617230127
ISBN-10 161723012X
Language English

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