Making of a sportsperson

Parents need to take genetics and physical capabilities while grooming their child for a career in sports.

By Author  |  Mohd Abdul Latheef  |  Published: 9th Jul 2019  9:09 pmUpdated: 9th Jul 2019  9:11 pm

Truth prevails, and comes in small packages which needs no elaboration and many a times in blunt and bitter ways.

I have come across many an aspiring parents who inquisitively ask me if there is any way I can make their children grow taller? The only answer that I can give them is that it is ‘you’ and only you who is responsible for their height, and nothing else in this world. There are many parents who are more ambitious than their wards and some question me, if I can make them play ‘Grand slams’ or make them a sports champion in their chosen discipline.

The answer repeatedly is the same as I have mentioned above. Sports champions are born and can’t be made. There are parents who force their children thinking that they can back them financially in any sports endeavour of their choice, but don’t realize that it’s
genetics that decides on who becomes a champion and who is an ‘also ran’.

Every sport requires a specific genetic leverage and neurologic capacity, without these two elements, funding can only get one so far.

Apart from these two factors, there are many socio-economic factors that determine their success, hence only a handful achieve their goal.

There still is no reason to despair, for most of us are ignorant about such aspects and requirements of what goes into the making of a sportsperson. Parents whose children
are in their nascent stage i.e prepubertal age, I would like to advise them to help their children get started with a well-coordinated sport like gymnastics, where they get acquainted with, hand-eye coordination, strength, flexibility, dive and roll techniques which will help them ward off injuries on field. As they mature, they can be tested for their limb and torso girth and length, bone density, leverages, muscle type, reflexes, etc. The Muscle type helps us understand which sport will be able to excel in.

The human body is made up of slow twitch (Red) and fast twitch (White) fibres. Those who predominantly possess slow twitch fibres are most suitable for steady state activities like marathon running, long-distance swimming, cycling and those whose bodies are predominantly made of fast twitch fibers will excel in sprinting, weight lifting etc. At the onset of puberty, the adolescents can be tested on these grounds and groomed to compete in their suitable sports endeavour.

The West, in comparison to the East is far more evolved in this regard. They have specialised sports research centres where many children are spotted with their inherent genetics and talents, and nurtured to be outstanding sports stalwarts.

The responsibility of identifying them at young age, rests with their physical training teachers at school, for it is there that children get exposed to sports from adolescence.