Before we talk about genetics it is important to understand what “potential” actual is, a word that is often used by many to describe multiple times in life. It is probably something we have all seen written on our primary school report card:
“Timmy shows great potential for PE if only he applied himself” (or something similar to those lines).

So what does it mean, well in general potential is the perceived achievement that one can reach if motivation is applied to a task. However how much of our potential do we really have control over?

It may be easy to think that all of it is! Remember that quote:
“If you practice for 10,000 hours in one area you will be an expert”
The 10,000-hour rule was stated by Malcolm Gladwell who stated that, 'Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours.'
However Gladwell has gone on to say that inherited talent does play a role and is dependent on the area of expertise, i.e. a genius was born that way although application must be applied.
David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene places a great deal of emphasis on the power of inherent talent.

And here we are…. OUR GENETICS.

Gladwell had a point, 10,000 hours’ worth of practice will certainly make you pretty good at something if not making you an expert, and we can’t deny that everyone needs practice even if they are super talented.

However with the advent of genetic testing we can find out our hidden genetic “potential” before we spend 10,000 hours on it! If you are going dedicate that amount of time on something why not make it something that you’re born to be good at? Makes sense!

Certain things such as skill, innovation and motivation are hard to test for using a genetic test, however all of these will have a certain genetic link.

What we can do is test for potential physical markers which can make making the decision of a particular sport much easier! Technique and skill can be practiced for 10,000 hours but imagine knowing that putting all that effort in is truly worthwhile, knowing that your training will not only improve your skill and technique but your physical ability will also meet the high goals you set yourself.

Genetic testing allows you to see in black and white the similarities you share with those who have managed to climb the mountain of sport success. When you know where your potential lays you then have to apply it with focus and motivation, it will be a hard road, a tough journey but you will be safe in the knowledge that your genes are backing you all the way. So in conclusion, if you want to unlock your potential (for sport anyway) then the smart way is to unlock your genes.
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