Are Athletes Born or Made?

SPORTS: Is athleticism in your DNA? By Ben Nash.

Far more professional athletes are made than born. Lots of people believe that professional athletes have God-given talents that they simply put on display, but that is not true. A New York Times author Malcolm Gladwell once said, “It takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert.”

The first example is Adam Thielen. He is a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, who went undrafted in 2013. His ambition lead him to attend a rookie tryout at the Minnesota Vikings practice facility, Winter Park. He ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, and had a very impressive tryout, so they decided to give him a chance.  He played only in very limited roles for years, but he now has emerged as an elite wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). Thielen may not have had as much God-given talent as some of his peers, but his desire to play lead him to be one of the best wide receivers in the game today.

Secondly, look at Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. He is a small man, only standing at 5’ 6”, putting him way below the average baseball player. At age 16, Altuve went to an Astros tryout camp, but they thought he was too young and too short to play. He went home, and with the encouragement from his father, he returned the next day with his birth certificate, and the scouts gave him a tryout, and the rest is history. He is now one of the top-rated second basemen in Major League Baseball (MLB), six-time All-Star, and has two top-two Most Valuable Player (MVP) finishes. This came not from his god given talents, but his passion, desire and his incredible work ethic.

Finally, look at LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most respected players of all time. He is a huge man, 6’8” tall and 250 lbs, which makes him much larger than the average person. Does that alone make him a great basketball player? No. Rather, his ambition and work ethic make him one of the most elite players ever to play the game, as well as one of the most respected players in the league.
From baseball to football to basketball, the amount of athletes who have made careers from their work ethic is off the charts. Their ambition and passion for the game make these athletes truly unbelievable at what they do.

Far more professional athletes are made than born. Lots of people believe that professional sports players have God- or nature- given talents that they simply put on display. Nothing could from the truth. Work ethic matters.

Look at LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers for example.. He is huge man– 6’ 8” tall and 250 lbs, which makes him much larger than the average man. Does that alone make him a great basketball player? No. He’s a great basketball play because of his work ethic.

James, one of the best players in the NBA, still spends thousands of hours in the gym each year. He spends an average of $1.5 million a year on training. This is a level of commitment unmatched in the NBA and demonstrates how important a work ethic really is.

Another example is Adam Thielen. He is a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. He went undrafted in 2013 but attended a rookie tryout at Winter Park, Minnesota, with the Vikings. He ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash, so they signed him as a free agent. Was he born being able to run that fast?. No, he worked to become that fast.

Finally, look at Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. He is a small man– only 5’ 6” tall, and therefore shorter than the average person, man or woman, in America. At age 16, Altuve went to an Astros tryout camp, but they thought he was too young and too short to play. He went home, got his birth certificate, and went back the next day. The scouts asked him if he could play. He looked them in the eye and said in Spanish: “I can play.” They gave him a tryout and he is a six-time All-Star. He clearly wasn’t born to be a baseball player, but he worked his way there.

From baseball to football to basketball, the list of professional athletes is full of people who have worked really hard to get to where they are.