Every parent wants the best for their kids. Much of what we choose for our kids to do, we have control over, but things like genetics we can’t change. If your child is going to be 7 ft tall, they’re more likely to be sought as a basketball player than if they are 5 ft tall. We can’t grow our kids, but we can control the environment in which they work.
Mike Boyle posted an article talking about the effects of genetics and environment on athletic development, and argues that while both great genetics and a great environment independently can have a great effect on development, pairing the two together has a much greater impact on development than originally thought to have. He compares traditional thinking of genetics and environment as an addition equation, but in reality it is a multiplication equation.
Perhaps what I found most interesting is his call into question of what a great environment is. So often I see families trying to get their kids to as many activities as they can, playing on as many teams as they can, with the hope that practice and exposure will bring results (think Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule). Perhaps the best environment for our kids is not being on the “best team”, but instead a place where they want to be and have people around them that care for them.