The New Times Journal of Medicine has an interesting article about a genetic test for sports ability that will determine the athletic potential of a new born. "The test’s goal is to determine whether a person would be best at speed and power sports like sprinting or football, or endurance sports like distance running, or a combination of the two. Atlas Sports Genetics is marketing this."
This is a thorough well-researched article that discusses pros and cons. We'd be interested in hearing from parents, grandparents and pediatric practitioners in the C2S cybersphere about this Brave New World.
NYT, November 29, 2008 Little Ones Get Test for Sports Gene
Brian Maurer, Pediatric Practitioner: So now we have the ability to test young children for a gene that might help to determine future athletic ability. Depending upon the results, children can be channeled at relatively young ages into specific training venues to enhance their natural athletic prowess. Amazing—and all for the cost of just $149!
I note that the two chief proponents of the test—Mr. Reilly and Mr. Epley—happen to have vested economic interests in marketing both the test and the training venues. In spite of this obvious fact, many parents will undoubtedly jump at the chance to have their toddler tested. One mother’s words are telling: “What if my son could be a pro football player and I don’t know it?” What if indeed?
I echo Mr. Morgan’s sentiment that not many parents are going to be clear-minded about this. For years we’ve had parents squabbling about the caliber of their children’s preschool experience to improve the chances that their son or daughter would gain admittance to a top undergraduate school. In a sense, evaluating children for athletic ability falls in line with such over-zealous thinking.
I agree with Dr. Ray Howe, the general practitioner in Denver, who says he would rather see his 2-year-old find his own way in life and discover what sports he likes the best. But then I’m old-fashioned: I still believe in letting children enjoy their childhood.
Caitlin Stiglmeier, Medical Student: I like the idea of letting kids be kids, and testing their speed on Dr. Fowlers' "line then up and let them run" method. A child should be able to pursue the type of sports they are passionate about, not what they're genetically capable of. Ultimately, what really determines a person's success, athletic or otherwise, is tenacity, passion, determination and attitude.
Your comments are welcome as well.