By Zach Campbell –
Is the theory true? Can genetic sports testing actually effect your son or daughter and their sports in the future?
According to an article in the NY Times, “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.
A 2003 study discovered the link between ACTN3 and those athletic abilities.”
Willie Chalfant a local soccer star stated, “Heck no I wouldn’t get my mouth swabbed for $149. I know what sport I’m good at and I’ll just work hard to do it.”
The New York Times also stated, “In this era of genetic testing, DNA is being analyzed to determine predispositions to disease, but experts raise serious questions about marketing it as a first step in finding a child’s sports niche, which some parents consider the road to a college scholarship or a career as a professional athlete.”
Atlas Sports Genetics in Boulder, Colo., provides genetic testing to identify sports strengths. For $1,000 parents can test their children for genetic traits, along with testing for vertical and broad jump skills and a timer for speed and agility. The website offers testimonials from those who have used their services.
But what about political and ethical issues related to this testing? Athletes must consider both along with their own set of values. What if a child tests strongly in a certain sport but doesn’t enjoy it? Do parents continue to push their children into a sport that they didn’t have a passion for or maybe that they don’t even like sports.
Technology sometimes outpaces moral values. Just because you can do something doesn’t make it right.