It’s finally happened: Science is now officially helping parents — and professional sports organizations — target more athletic children, and choosing which sport to steer them to when they’re still very, very young. In fact, if you’re kid is more than eight years old, well, they’ve missed their shot at athletic specialization. So sorry.
(Should you tell the kids they’re ping pong players, or should I?)
According to a report from the website for WANE TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a company in Boulder, Colo. is offering a $149 test for a gene they say can predict which sports a child will be more inclined to succeed at. By targeting a specific sport, Atlas Sports Genetics claims that a young athlete is more likely to maximize his or her potential and actually make the quantum leap so few do into the collegiate and, potentially, professional realm. That last line alone almost surely has professional soccer franchises lining up their testing kits for the next trip to Brazil and Argentina.
If this all sounds like it’s weird science, well, it is. Atlas and other companies which will surely pop up are testing for the gene ACTN3, a gene on the 11th chromosome which, allegedly, can determine whether a person would be best at speed and power sports, endurance sports, or some combination in between the two extremes.