Everyone knows that someone who is tall and lanky has a unique advantage in basketball. Someone who is big, muscular, and quick on his feet would have an advantage in football. Baseball pitchers tend to be tall with long arms, while good hitters have excellent coordination. Elite swimmers have a disproportionately long upper torso, while elite runners have disproportionately long legs.
Disclaimer: In this article, I discuss my own opinions and observations on health topics. I am not a doctor. The information here is only observations and ideas, not medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes that might affect your health.
Every exceptional trait you have gives you a competitive advantage in something.
When it comes to sports, do the sport that your body type is built for. I propose a system of taking a person’s information—such as height, weight, body fat, arm length, leg length, reaction time, coordination, etc.—and using it to find the person’s ideal sport. A person’s perfect sport is the sport in which they have the most physical competitive advantage. Such a system may be implemented as software, a website form, or a testing lab service.
The main caveat to choosing a sport according to your body type is that there is no way to test for passion. Someone who is 6’10” may have a competitive advantage for playing basketball, but without passion for the sport, that person will never succeed.
If you don’t have the body type for your sport and still want to play it, you need to work on becoming an exception. You can’t play the game the same way people with the ideal body types play it. You have to find loopholes and ways you can play the game differently using the features you do have to your advantage.
Take baseball pitcher Tim Lincecum for example. His 5’11” height and 170-pound weight is a significant disadvantage for a pitcher. It’s difficult to get enough power and torque without a long arm and lots of weight behind it. Instead of giving up on pitching, he developed unorthodox pitching motions that included an unusually long stride length. It allowed him to throw a baseball 99 miles per hour despite his small build, and earned him the nickname “The Freak.”
This idea was inspired by the book The Sports Gene.
Do you know of any sports aptitude tests out there? Let me know in the comments.