I understand that Gladwell’s theory is well researched, and easy to support. However, I still believe that date of birth isn’t something that can prevent your success. There are players in the NHL that were born in December, and they faced all the same obstacles as other December babies. There are other successful athletes who were born at points in the year that make it difficult to excel in their sport. Ever professional athlete put in hard work to get to where they are in their career. Being born in December won’t prevent someone who will stop at nothing to become a professional athlete in their respective sport.
Drive and determination will take athletes further than birth date. You can be the biggest player and the fastest player, but there is a certain unmeasurable statistic that separates star athletes from everyone else. The best athletes do not give up no matter what seemingly insurmountable odds they are faced with.
To be honest, when Malcom Gladwell said that if you are a young Czech boy who was born in December and you wanna play soccer or hockey that you can’t, I became sick to my stomach. He is telling me that if I dedicated all my time to a sport I wouldn’t be good at it because everyone is older than me. It sounds corny, but if you believe it and put all the work you can into it almost anything is possible. I’ve witnessed a few minor examples of this on my high school football team.
My best friend who is a senior now, was born in October. Right now he is a 16 year old senior playing against seniors that are mostly 18 years old. He is the best player on our team and one of the best linebackers in the state. He is 5’9″ tops, and because he has played football since he was 6 and he doesn’t let anyone tell him he’s not big enough he excels.
Another friend of mine is the most inspirational person I know. Due to cancer at a young age he lost an eye, and never grew to full height. He is 5 feet tall, about 90 pounds, and has a glass eye. He plays like he is the biggest one on the team. This is because he is not afraid and has unbelievable drive. Right now he is a freshman at Nichols University and he is on the football team. Recently he posted a facebook status that said “When my 6’8″ teammate tells me that I’m the inspiration for him to try his best every down, all the pain goes away…” He wasn’t born in January.