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The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. August 2013

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Current; Auflage: New. (1. August 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1591845114
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591845119
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,3 x 2,8 x 23,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.290 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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“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 AschwandenThe 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


An entertaining and thought-provoking examination of the truth behind talent and success. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von A. D. Thibeault am 13. August 2013
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, August 20, 2013.

What does it take to become an elite athlete? The intuitive answer for most of us is that it probably takes some lucky genes on the one hand, and a whole heck of a lot of hard work on the other. Specifically, that we may need to be blessed with a particular body type to excel at a particular sport or discipline (after all, elite marathon runners tend to look far different from elite NFL running backs, who in turn tend to look far different from elite swimmers), but that beyond this it is practice and diligence that paves the way to success. When we look at the science, though--as sports writer David Epstein does in his new book The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance--we find that the story is much more complicated than this. In general terms we find that nature and nurture interact at every step of the way in the development of an elite athlete, and that biology plays far more of a role (and in far more ways) than we may have expected.

To begin with, when it comes to physiology, we find that biology does indeed have a large role to play in influencing our height and skeletal structure (as we would expect), but that biology also influences physiology in many other ways that are important when it comes to elite sports.
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Studienergebnisse aus der sportwissenschaftlichen Forschung praxisnah und einfach erzählt.
Ein gutes Seminar-Fachbuch mit übergreifenden Inhalten. Klare Empfehlung für Trainer, Studenten aus Sport, Medizin und Psychologie.
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The Science Behind Elite Athletic Performance 5. August 2013
Von Book Shark - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

"The Sports Gene" is an enjoyable book that shares the latest of modern genetic research as it relates to elite athleticism. In the never-ending quest to settle the debate of nature versus nature, David Epstein takes the readers on a journey into sports and tries to answer how much does each contribute. This fascinating 352-page book includes the following sixteen chapters: 1. Beat by an Underhand Girl: The Gene-Free Model of Expertise, 2. A Tale of Two High Jumpers: (Or: 10,000 Hours Plus or Minus 10,000 Hours), 3. Major League Vision and the Greatest Child Athlete Sample Ever: The Hardware and Software Paradigm, 4. Why Men Have Nipples, 5. The Talent of Trainability, 6. Superbaby, Bully Whippets, and the Trainability of Muscle, 7. The Big Bang of Body Types, 8. The Vitruvian NBA Player, 9. We Are All Black (Sort Of): Race and Genetic Diversity, 10. The Warrior-Slave Theory of Jamaican Sprinting, 11. Malaria and Muscle Fibers, 12. Can Every Kalenjin Run?, 13. The World's Greatest Accidental (Altitudinous) Talent Sieve, 14. Sled Dogs, Ultrarunners, and Couch Potato Genes, 15. The Heartbreak Gene: Death, Injury, and Pain on the Field, and 16 The Gold Medal Mutation.

1. Well-written, well-researched book. Epstein is very engaging and keeps the science at a very accessible level.
2. Fascinating topic that sports fans will enjoy. A look at elite athleticism through the eyes of science. Sports elites. I'm there!
3. Epstein does a fantastic job of skillfully handling the very sensitive topic of race and genetics. Any minor miscue and it would have derailed the book but Epstein never lets that happen and should be commended for his utmost care.
4. There are very few books on this interesting topic and this one covers multiple sports. And behind it all is the quest to find what's behind elite athleticism, "The question for scientists is: What accounts for that variance, practice, genes, or something else?"
5. You are guaranteed to learn something new. As an avid sports fan and reader, I didn't expect to learn too many new facts but I am always humbled and pleasantly surprised when I do.
6. The importance of experience in athletics. "Studies that track the eye movements of experienced performers, whether chess players, pianists, surgeons, or athletes, have found that as experts gain experience they are quicker to sift through visual information and separate the wheat from the chaff."
7. Golfers will pick up a valuable scientific tip...I'm not going to spoil it here.
8. The 10,000 hours rule in perspective. "Studies of athletes have tended to find that the top competitors require far less than 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to reach elite status. According to the scientific literature, the average sport-specific practice hours to reach the international levels in basketball, field hockey, and wrestling are closer to 4,000, 4,000, and 6,000, respectively."
9. Understanding the importance behind visual acuity and its importance in sports like baseball. "Coincidentally, or perhaps not, twenty-nine often is the age at which visual acuity starts to deteriorate and the age when hitters, as a group, begin to decline."
10. Important lessons shared, "To this day," Woods said in 2000, "my dad has never asked me to go play golf. I ask him. It's the child's desire to play that matters, not the parent's desire to have the child play."
11. Addressing the differences in gender. "Much of sexual differentiation comes down to a single gene on the Y chromosome: the SRY gene, or "sex determining region Y" gene. Insofar as there is an "athleticism gene," the SRY gene is it." Great stuff!
12. So who was the greatest high-school athlete of all time according to ESPN? Find out.
13. The impact of the Human Genome Project as it relates to sports. The naturally fit six...
14. The science behind muscle growth. "Something that myostatin does signals muscles to cease growing. They had discovered the genetic version of a muscle stop sign. In the absence of myostatin, muscle growth explodes." A lot of good information here.
15. Discusses physical traits by sport that give the athletes innate advantages over the competition. "The height of a sprinter is often critical to his best event. The world's top competitors in the 60-meter sprint are almost always shorter than those in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter sprints, because shorter legs and lower mass are advantageous for acceleration."
16. A cool look at the NBA. My favorite team of all time, the 95-96 Chicago Bulls (Jordan, Pippen and Rodman). Some eye-opening facts concerning wingspan.
17. Scientific observations, "Low-latitude Africans and Australian Aborigines had the proportionally longest legs and shortest torsos. So this is not strictly about ethnicity so much as geography."
18. Race and genetic diversity. "Kidd's work, along with that of other geneticists, archaeologists, and paleontologists, supports the "recent African origin" model--that essentially every modern human outside of Africa can trace his or her ancestry to a single population that resided in sub-Saharan East Africa as recently as ninety thousand years ago." Honestly, where would we be without understanding the grand theory of evolution? An excellent chapter, worth the price of the book.
19. Mind-blowing facts, " In an example particularly relevant to sports, about 10 percent of people with European ancestry have two copies of a gene variant that allows them to dope with impunity." Wow!
20. An interesting look at Jamaican sprinting and Kenyan long-term running. What's behind the success? "Consider this: seventeen American men in history have run a marathon faster than 2:10 (or a 4:58 per mile pace); thirty-two Kalenjin men did it just in October 2011." Say what?
21. The honest limitations of the young science of genetics, "Just as it is tough to find genes for height--even though we know they exist--it is extraordinarily difficult to pin down genes for even one physiological factor involved in running, let alone all of them."
22. Is motivation genetic? Interesting.
23. Genetic diseases. "According to statistics that Maron has compiled, at least one high school, college, or pro athlete with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) will drop dead somewhere in the United States every other week."
24. An excellent epilogue on the perfect athlete, "In reality, any case for sports expertise that leans entirely on either nature or nurture is a straw-man argument."
25. Notes and selected citations included.

1. Football is the most popular sports in America bar none but wasn't really given as much paper as I was hoping for; sure you get some stories about Jerome Bettis, Herschel Walker, head injuries and weight lifting...but not the treatment a sport of its magnitude would warrant.
2. The science is very basic and done so to reach a larger audience. Links or an appendix would have given curious readers more to immediately munch on.
3. At no fault of the author, the science of genetics is still too young to be able to answer the most demanding questions to a satisfactory level.
4. No formal separate have to surf through the notes.
5. Few links.

In summary, the perfect summer book. This was a page-turner of a book that provides us a glimpse into elite athleticism through the eyes of science. David Epstein provides sports enthusiasts with a scientific treat. One thing is perfectly clear...genetics is very complex and we are in its infancy. That being said, it's fascinating science and its increased understanding will continue to be applied to the world of sports. Epstein provides readers with an excellent appetizer of things to come; if you are interested in how genetics is being applied to extraordinary athletic performance, I highly recommend this book!

Recommendations: "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcom Gladwell, "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink, "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg, "Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior (Vintage)" by Leonard Mlodinow, "Running Science" by Owen Anderson, "Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body" by Neil Shubin, "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution" by Sean B. Carroll, "The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution" by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending, "Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA" by Daniel J. Fairbanks, "Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design" by Michael Shermer, "Only a Theory" by Kenneth R. Miller, "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins and, "Why Evolution Is True" by Jerry A. Coyne.
24 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Geraldine Ahearn - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
David Epstein delivers an interesting and impressive narrative, through extensive research on sports and genetics. The author highlights what makes a successful athlete, and how to obtain excellence to become one of the elite. The stories and interviews are thought-provoking, and inspiring. This insightful account is a must-read not only for athletes, but coaches, and parents as well. Of all the sports information I've read in books about athletes, this one is a golden gem on this topic. The science behind an athlete's performance is covered to a great extent, and the more you read, the more interesting it becomes. Informative, and educational. Highly recommended!
30 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
At Last, An Antidote - 10. August 2013
Von Loyd E. Eskildson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Not too many years ago Malcolm Gladwell published 'Outliers,' asserting that the significant differences between so-so achievement and excellence was 10,000 hours of committed practice. (So even I, despite lacking significant talent, can be an NFL star, concert pianist, AND Nobel winner!) Similarly, we've also be deluged with articles contending that anyone can learn most anything, given enough support. Craig Venter, leader in the human genome project, said 'we are all essentially identical twins,' while geneticist Kenneth Kidd stated 'Race is not biologically definable, we are far too similar.' Despite the fact that such assertions fly in the face of common sense and experience (eg. selective breeding of animals, domination of professional sports by African-Americans), such nonsense continues to be perpetrated.

Finally, we have a bit of an antidote in David Epstein's 'The Sports Gene.' His conclusion, after extensive research and objective thought, is that 'it's much easier to have been born genetically gifted.' Establishing that conclusion, however, has taken some time - the human genome was only mapped a decade ago (23,000 'pages'), and single genes usually have effects too tiny to be undetectable in small studies.

Epstein, like others before him, doesn't conclude it's either 'nature or nurture,' but both. The question is, 'How much of each?' He concludes that athleticism is a complex trait with many dimensions, subject to numerous genetic and environment variables and their interactions.

Turns out that 17% of men over 7' and between 20 and 40 in the U.S. are playing in the NBA. This illustrates the ridiculousness of Gladwell's '10,000 hour rule.' Most children of NBA players do not become professional basketball players, but their probabilities of doing so are far higher.

Medical genetics professor James Crow agrees we're all basically similar - in fact, DNA of humans and chimpanzees is 98 to 99% identical. However, given six billion base pairs/cell, there are still 6 million different based pairs/cell, plenty of room for genetic differences among us. Some genetic changes that seem so significant to us depend on a very tiny fraction of our DNA. The evidence indicating some diseases disproportionately afflict specific ethnic and racial groups (eg. obesity is especially common in Pima Indians, Tay-Sachs disease is much more common among the Jewish population) does not ordinarily provoke controversy. Far more contentious is evidence that some skills and behavioral properties are differentially distributed among different racial groups. Further, a small difference of eg. 8 IQ points in the mean translates to several-fold differences in the extremes. Thus, the question of equal opportunity vs. equal outcomes becomes especially vexing in occupations and professions for which only a small fraction can qualify.

The most famous exercise genetics study ever, the Heritage Family Study, subjected 98 two-generation families to identical increasing intensity stationary-bicycle training regimens. After five months of training,15% showed little or not gain, and 15% improved dramatically - by 50% or more. The researchers identified 21 gene variants and found subjects with at least 19 of the 'favorable' versions improved capacity nearly 3X as those with less than ten. They also found that families stuck together, in terms of relative improvement. Ergo, genetics was most important in this instance.

The best major league hitters don't have exceptional reaction times - rather, they've learned and/or have the ability to pick up cues from the pitcher that gives them advance notice. Epstein show this via how poorly those same leading hitters performed vs. champion softball pitcher Jennie Finch. The time for the ball to arrive at the plate was about the same as in baseball, but they weren't used to the pitcher's motions nor the ball's rotations and couldn't respond well. (Turns out they do have exceptional eyesight - averaging about 20/12.)

'Superbaby,' born 1999 in Berlin, could hold a six-pound dumbbell at arm's length, horizontally, at age four - a struggle for some adults. Laboratory analysis found his secret was a rare genetic mutation passed on from his accomplished professional sprinter mother, that inhibited myostatin, a protein that limits muscle growth. Liam Hoekstra of Grand Rapid, Michigan has the same diagnosis, and could do a pull-up at age 8 months, an inverted sit-up at 19 months (hanging upside down by his feet), and now is making a name for himself in grade-school wrestling matches.

Bottom-Line: Forget about becoming a super-athlete, chess-champion, or genius, unless you have the requisite genes.
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great reporting, easy to read and inspiring 2. August 2013
Von David Dusek - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The best part about this fascinating book is that you don't need a degree in biology or chemistry to understand what Epstein is writing about. The questions that he puts forth, and the answers that he provides, are written in a conversational tone, blending insightful attention to details, humor, and a broad-ranging world view.

I was a collegiate tennis player and knew several guys who peaked early or seemed to have a gift for the sport, but I was a late-bloomer. Epstein's book helps to explain why, even within the same training system, some people seemed to get a lot better, a lot faster, than everyone else. I thought it was very interesting to read how several countries are now actively seeking out children and teens who have genetic traits that could predispose them to excel at certain sports or thrive within certain training environments.

The Sports Gene doesn't definitively answer every question about why some people win and others don't, but after I finished reading it I couldn't help thinking about the amazing athletic potential human beings still have. For a book filled with science, it's actually a very inspiring read.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good job on a tough subject 25. September 2013
Von Lloyd Porter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Epstein writes well and weaves stories of real people into a narrative that could, in the wrong hands, be quite dry. It's great to see him take on Malcolm Gladwell on the facts. Gladwell writes engaging, popular books that demand some critical review. Epstein does so on Gladwell's 10,000-hour thesis in "Outliers." On many levels it's a 4-star book. I rated as 3-stars largely because it felt like an excellent "Atlantic" article that was stretched into a book. The outcome for me therefore was "average." The conclusion is not surprising -- and perhaps not satisfying -- and you could see it coming from midway through the book.
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