Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 20, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

ATHLETIC ABILITY....Here's a question for you: what are the various factors that combine to create the thing that we call "athletic ability"? Here are a few:

  • Strength

  • Speed

  • Reflexes

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Balance

  • Body control

You can probably think of others, but these will do for now. My next question is: does the term "athletic ability" have any meaning? Or should we discard it and force ourselves to talk only about these other factors that underlie it?

That would be clumsy, wouldn't it? "Athletic ability" may be a bit fuzzy, but it's still a pretty useful concept and we'd hate to have to give it up.

With me so far? Good. Final question: do you think these underlying factors have any genetic component, or are they solely the result of coaching and training? And as a corollary, does that mean that the overall trait called "athletic ability" is also partly determined by genetics?

There will be a test on this later. In the meantime, go read this post by Charles Murtaugh.

More tomorrow.

Kevin Drum 9:48 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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