Accident of birth

Parents are getting suckered into, er, I mean are exhibiting prudent foresight in gene-testing their toddlers to determine the sport for which they are best suited:

In the overheated world of youth sports, it’s come to this: a gene test that claims to predict whether a child is more likely to become an endurance athlete like Lance Armstrong or a sprinter like Dara Torres. As the New York Times reported over the weekend, some parents are paying $149 for the test in an attempt to get their kids matched with the sports at which they’re most likely to succeed.

I’m not going to spring for the gene test for my boy because I can look at him, his grandpa, his uncles, and in the mirror and tell him with all certainty that if he is going to have a pro career, it’s going to be as a stout relief pitcher, preferably with a moustache and mullet, who won’t really start earning his keep until he’s in his mid 30s.

That’s why I named him Wickman Weathers Beck Calcaterra.

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  1. (Darrell) Brandon (Walt) Terrell (?) Isleib said...

    From the way a lot of those parents are, it’s more determining what sport will give their 8-year-old a debilitating and tort-inducing injury.

    Oh yeah, and get your kid to throw left-handed.  ANY left-hander with a solid veteran presence can be in a bullpen at any age.  Just ask Rick Honeycutt or, in a later day, Scott Aldred.

  2. Zach Sanders said...

    People can actually test to see what sport they should play? I would love to know that before they even come out of the womb! Expensive, but not overly so.

    What happens if the results aren’t what the parents wanted? Do they abort?

    -Zach Sanders

  3. Ahmet Hamdi Cavusoglu said...

    Funniest thing I see in all of this is that NO one notices that the environment has a huge effect, not just the genes. I doubt giving protein shakes designed for 35-year old body builders to 8-year olds will help … more than likely just shut down their kidneys … then again, it’s the parent’s money to burn

  4. christopher said...

    I actually think that’s awesome.  Of course it would have to be combined with good parenting (a big if, i know), but suggesting that your kid try something they might be good at could be really valuable.  I’ve been relatively good at a number of things in my life, but I often wonder if I could have been really, really good at something that i’ve never tried.

  5. Rusty said...

    They should probably just give the parents a printout that says “Your child will never be good enough to play professionally in any sport.”

    Then they’d be right 99.9% of the time.

  6. Daniel A Flude said...

    I predict we’re going to see a lot more abandoned children, most with t-shirts that say, “My gene testing told me to be a pro fisherman.”

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