Genetic Test Tells You What Sports Your Kid Should Play

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True

boy playing soccerIt's basketball season at my house, which means lots of playing H-O-R-S-E in the driveway with my sons. I have one child who is a natural athlete, at least at the sports he has tried so far, and one who loves the social aspects of playing on a team but isn't exactly star material.

I'm good with that, frankly.

For my children, pee wee sports are all about learning good sportsmanship and responsibility; they've committed to playing on these teams, so they need to show up for practice and do their best. My husband and I are also hoping they will learn some skills -- how to shoot a layup or catch a ball -- while they're at it. Mostly, though, we're just hoping it will be fun.

But not every parent has that attitude, and for those who want their children to excel in sports from a very young age, there's a new trick: a Boulder, CO, firm, Atlas Sports Genetics, will test your child to see what sport he or she is most likely to excel at. A simple cheek swab can tell you if your toddler is going to be an Olympic swimmer or a professional baseball player!

Okay I kid (the test isn't that specific), but honestly, what are parents thinking?

The genetic test determines "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." Donna Campiglia told the New York Times that she would absolutely have her two-and-a-half-year-old son swabbed, because the knowledge of what sports he would be good at "would prevent a lot of parental frustration."

Clearly she has never watched a six-year-old play t-ball.

Kids should play sports for a lot of reasons: it's healthy, physically and mentally, and it's fun. They should not, at two or three or six or ten -- or ever -- be playing a sport because their parents need for them to succeed. And if you get right down to it, parenting is all about learning to manage your own frustration and expectation. After all, we're talking about kids here, not little NBA stars.

Would you have your kid tested for athletic ability?
No - sports should be fun.136 (51.7%)
No - I don't really care about sports.28 (10.6%)
Yes - it might help my kid enjoy sports more.74 (28.1%)
Yes - why play if you're not going to be the best?25 (9.5%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.