Sports Genomics 101: Demystifying The Sports Gene

Sep 10, 2019


If there’s anything that makes the difference between the work in a day and the silence of night, it is sports. Heroes of sport and game offer us something beautiful, beyond description. As relevant as it may seem to the hours of practice an athlete puts, it boils down to the very own individual capability of an individual. Whether you are a celebrated footballer or a dedicated hockey player, you’ve probably chalked out a training schedule that would help you reach the peak performance and top your opponents. What if I say, sports genomics demystifies the link between athletic performance and genetics?  What if I say, understanding your genetic predisposition helps you achieve centralized and personalized training in a particular sport? That brings us to the question, is there really a sports gene? 

But…. Hey!!! Hang On!!! We are not talking about David Epstein’s book “The Sports Gene”. 

Sam ‘The Slammer’ Snead, one of the greatest long ball hitters of Golf once said, “Practice puts brains in muscles”. There’s no shortcut to sporting success other than hard work and practice. It all boils down to the trainability and the athletic-ability of the individual to lift himself/herself onto safe shores, and is associated with many a technical factor. But, are they DNA based? Does genetic makeup of an individual speak for the sprint-ability and endurance? The answer is No. But, what exactly is the sports gene? A gene that defines whether an individual turns out into a footballer, cricketer, swimmer or a boxer? Sports genomics demystifies the link between athletic performance and genetics.

See Also : Sports genomics: Is there a sports gene? (Part 1 of 3)


Do all great sportspersons build their athletic prowess from scratch, or do they have a biological advantage? As things stand in research and science, there’s no single gene that defies and defines an individual’s excellence in a particular sport. Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-Hour Rule” states that, to excel in any area or sport, one needs to practice the correct way, for a mere 10,000 hours. So, are super athletes or Pillay-esque and Bale-esque brilliances super genetic efforts? Or are they just an individual’s sturdy efforts in perfecting an art?

See Also : Sports genomics: Is there a sports gene? (Part 2 of 3)

So, it’s all about genes and the genetic makeup, innit? And, the Tiger Woods’s Augusta magic of ‘97 and Dhanraj Pillay’s spell-bounding sorcery of ‘98 are all an individual’s undying passion and perseverance in representing the game at its orthodox best. Aren’t they? Frankly, it’s nothing but a slight biological advantage that a few people have with the rest in particular areas. Achieving fitness is multidimensional – you learn about some strengths, few weaknesses, a couple of tricks you pick up along the way, and a couple of skills that you were genetically blessed with! If you know the right road to choose, you are halfway to the finish line! Know the best way to get fit for life, read your DNA story to know yourself completely.

See Also : Sports genomics: Genetic Superhumans (Part 3 of 3)

How Mapmygenome Can Help You:

At Mapmygenome, our focus is mainly on predictive risk assessment, maintaining a proper diet, adapting to a healthier lifestyle. We focus on preventive healthcare and wellness. With screening tests like MyFitGene, you can personalize your training and diet while understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your body. We offer personalized health solutions based on genetic tests that help people to get to know about themselves. By combining genetic health profile and health history with genetic counselling, we provide actionable steps for individuals and their physicians towards a healthier life. To learn more about our tests, write to or call us at 1800 102 4595.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not exhaustive by any means. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, procedure, or treatment, whether it is a prescription medication, over-the-counter drug, vitamin, supplement, or herbal alternative.