Athletes Truly are Born and Not Made…

Proof, if ever proof was needed that athletes are born, not made, and that often they succeed in spite of, and not because of their training programs. Most are successful simply because they are robust enough to survive the volume of training or the lunacy of what is offered them by coaches and trainers that should know better.
Episode seven of the recent Netflix series “Quarterback shows Patrick Mahomes personal trainer urging him to do repeated jumps with 135lbs on his back, this despite Mahomes saying that he couldn’t do it. ( if your gut tells you something…listen to it). There follows a collection of useless and potentially dangerous exercises.
Then there is this…done by Mike Trout. All in the name of performance. If he had tripped and face planted, he might have lost a few teeth at best, but maybe snapped his neck at worst. No performance benefits there…
A reminder not to be influenced by the “influencers” out there…

1 Like

Baseball and football are also extremely skill based sports. The skill training that Mahomes and Trout do is why they’re so good at their sport, combined with genetic factors as well of course. Their crappy Strength Training practices have not yielded phenomenal physiques or impressive strength by conventional metrics. They do have high IQ within their sport as well as a deep knowledge of how to use their body in the context of the game to get the most out of their swing, throw, etc.

1 Like

I really only follow MLB (and less these days), but there are some baseball three generation family players…grandfather to father to son. Thinking the Boones off the top of my head. Obviously, a genetic factor to excel with those skills.

Ken Griffey and Junior were able to play on the same team together…and in some games together if I recall. Pretty darn cool.

I don’t believe that the kind of upper body physique that most bodybuilders develop contributes much to throwing velocity. Just look at the shirtless physique of great QB’s with good arms. Brady, Rodgers, Manning, Farve, etc. are underwhelming when it comes to upper body muscularity. Same with major league pitchers.

Being able to throw a football or baseball fast has to do more with overall height, body weight, arm length, and the ability to transfer force from the ground through the hips and torso to a long whippy arm. You do need good connective tissue (resilient tendons and ligaments) to withstand the stresses associated with throwing. It is much more an application of explosive strength than the kind of slow max effort strength that sets powerlifting records.

Also, take a look at this article about Brock Purdy, and how a different kind of training regime brought him from Mr Irrelevant to contending for a starting QB position.


That’s exactly the point I was trying to make. The strength training practices are pretty much irrelevant to what these guys do. Throwing a football and hitting a baseball well all come down to good mechanics, hand eye coordination, in the case of the quarterback, reading a defense and in the case of a hitter, being able to read a pitch as it leaves the hands of the pitcher. The greatest baseball player ever, Babe Ruth was chubby and certainly never lifted weights. He was just skilled and brought new concepts for hitting to the game. And Favre is probably more muscular now than when was playing lol


I agree with this line of thinking. Anyone with proper dedication to nutrition and training can get in fantastic shape. But, that doesn’t mean they can throw a 95 mph fastball, tackle an NFL running back, or guard a wing in the NBA. You can definitely improve towards those goals, but not to the extent that you will be able to compete with elite athletes in those sports.

Another example is olympic lifting. Those guys (and girls) don’t often look like they could move massive amounts of weight from the floor to overhead, but they’re not relying on brut strength. It’s a thing of beauty to watch them use every muscle in concert to move through phases of the pull to transfer power that ultimately results in driving the weight upwards. They’re not pulling it up with their arms and pushing it overhead with their shoulders (like I do).

Yup! Just the other day, I stumbled across this video where an 11 year old girl, who certainly weighs less than 100 lbs, clean and jerks 200 lbs. I am embarrassingly weak judged against this example.


That’s crazy! She’s my idol.

And not to mention, throwing a 95 MPH for a strike with movement is entirely different than being able to reach that speed by itself. It reminds me of a guy years who I think came into the Baltimore organization years ago who was supposedly throwing harder than anyone ever recorded, but he couldn’t throw strikes. He never made it to the majors.

1 Like

Well, this pitcher may be an exception.

1 Like

It was a hoax.

1 Like

Yep. A glorious one. I was just young and dumb enough to almost fall for it when it was originally published.

1 Like

As a kid I used to watch a lot of baseball growing up in the 80s. I remember a documentary around it during that time.

Nevertheless a good story!

Steve Dalkowski

1 Like


The article writers went to a lot of trouble to flesh out a back story.
They really went to town on that April Fool’s joke. One of the better efforts I’m sure.

“Athletes Truly are Born and Not Made…” That is so true given my personal experience so far from folks that I worked out with at times and even relatives. I worked out with some famous powerlifters which impressed me and underscored the obvious point that I was not going to be as “powerful” in lifting as them. I worked out with a bodybuilder who could bench press 550# easily. I lived with guys who could take a long crowbar and bend it from behind their lower back to their belly. I had relatives (a father and his son) who could tear US quarters into two pieces. Tommy Kono learned about this son in the mid-1960s. The son, when young, could even tear dimes. This son, as I told Jim Flanagan in September 1982 when I worked out at his gym in Orlando, was to appear on national TV tearing quarters and he was featured doing so. A cousin of mine was a terrific rugby player and appeared on national TV competing.

This has been an interesting thread…

After a life-long jaunt through competitive athletics (I am a 67 year old senior now), I can honestly say the following, from personal experience.

I believe one of THE most important aspects of success is to choose a sport that your (individual) genetics are best suited towards…This is totally unique to YOU and no one else.

My personal example is that I have always been fairly skinny. But I was always fast and had a very quick reaction time.

So when I tried football, the coach always played me at defensive back. Baseball, I was always shortstop. Then came my time as a tournament karate fighter, I did quite well. Lately, after my retirement I took up Track and Field and have so far won Gold medals in 7 different short-distance sprint and jumping events. Culminating as U.S. National Champion/Gold Medalist in the Running Long Jump (in my age bracket, of course).

I tell you all this to illustrate the following point…

In my late 20’s-early 30’s I once tried competitive bodybuilding (hit it pretty darn hard, for 5 long years). Entered many local/regional competitions. Never even placed in the top 8…I could get very ripped, I just didn’t have the genetics for building large muscles.

So back to my original point – I believe one of THE most important aspects of success is to choose a sport that your (individual) genetics are best suited towards…This is totally unique to YOU and no one else.

Good training to all!


Totally agree with this. I was an excellent all round athlete, especially middle distance running or anything that involved moving quickly. I was always lean but could never get bulky. At 58 I’m pretty content with my fitness and appearance, I’m pretty lucky.