Are you too tiny to play?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 27, 2007 8:26 PM GMT
    Interesting piece in the NYTimes today about the way body size affects performance in swimming, running, rowing, cycling:

    http://tinyurl.com/276oec
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    Sep 27, 2007 8:44 PM GMT
    i WISH i was too tiny to play
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    Sep 27, 2007 8:46 PM GMT
    I'm tiny and I'm a bit slower compared to my running partner who is taller and weighs more. Then again he's been running for twice as many years as me and is proportionally leaner than me so maybe that's why.
  • Salubrious

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    Sep 27, 2007 9:16 PM GMT
    I always told people I was too big to be a long distance runner, but none of them believed me! icon_razz.gif
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    Sep 27, 2007 9:48 PM GMT
    Are they trying to tell us that tall people make better basketball players than short people? That's astounding, and frankly, controversial.
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    Sep 27, 2007 9:57 PM GMT
    That story seems very strange to me. It keeps going on about the physics and the math of these sports, but it never actually describes any of it. It's impossible to know whether these are credible calculations or not.

    Of course, there are striking examples in sports like american football or grand tour cycling, where they have specialized athletes of different sizes for each position. But unless you are planning to make a career out of it, you should be guided more by what you enjoy than what you're best sized for.
    It's very strange to me, when I hear athletic young people talk about not being able to "make the team" in their high school. Where I grew up, most of the schools were so small that if almost everyone didn't go out for a sport, there usually weren't enough for a team. Maybe not everyone got to play a lot, but I never heard of anyone getting cut from a team for not being good enough.
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    Sep 27, 2007 10:08 PM GMT
    No - what they're saying is that some people - by the simple measure of their body's physics - have a innate advantage in certain sports.

    Not that you shouldn't persue a sport you love. Not that you can't be great if you don't conform.

    They are stating that simple Physics dictates certain advantages given to some people who have certain body types in certain sports.

    This seems like a no brainer to me if you think about it for 3 seconds.

    Does someone 6'5", and a solidly muscular 300# have an advantage as a linebacker? Duh!

    Does someone who is 6'2", lankily muscular 175# have an advantage as a swimmer? Duh!

    Do you really want to put the swimmer on the front line of an NFL team? Or the Linebacker in the 100 m Freestyle at the Olympics? Probably not under most conditions.

    I don't see any controversy here, I think this has been recognised for a VERY long time.
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    Sep 27, 2007 10:25 PM GMT
    Yes, but it is not at all obvious why a "big" person would be better at swimming or a short person better at running. There are all kinds of opposing forces at play. The story invokes physics and math. It should actually explain some of it. Otherwise, it's no better than invoking fairies or magical charms.
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    Sep 27, 2007 11:01 PM GMT
    "But unless you are planning to make a career out of it, you should be guided more by what you enjoy than what you're best sized for."

    The story makes that point too, but I likewise felt it did very little to explain the mysterious physics involved.

    Nor does it account for the physics of desire. I enjoyed wrestling because I could hold men down without reproach. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 27, 2007 11:25 PM GMT
    pin me!
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    Sep 27, 2007 11:26 PM GMT
    Considering it's in the NYT, I don't imagine they'd outline the models they used to come up with such results. It might be more informative to check out any actual research articles they may have put out
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    Sep 27, 2007 11:28 PM GMT
    hehehe you said, "put out"
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    Sep 27, 2007 11:47 PM GMT
    Oh god I knew someone would comment on that as I was typing it. I was wondering who would be brave enough to be that lame icon_smile.gif (that's not an insult btw, I definatly get kicks from those types of comments icon_biggrin.gif)
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    Sep 28, 2007 12:01 AM GMT
    Ok so to get my body in shape for some competitive distance cycling or distance running I need to loose 30 lbs. That's easy, I'll just cut off my arms. icon_sad.gif
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    Sep 28, 2007 1:08 AM GMT
    OF course this is true, you look at people like Micheal Phelps and Ian Thorpe and look at the size of thier feet. Thier feet are huge and act like flippers in the water helping to propell them.

    Body type is definitely something that affects your sports.

    I have seen tall 6'3 triathletes falter on the run in the heat many times. So the biggger guys have a lot of trouble in the races on extremely hot days where the smaller guys dont.

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    Sep 28, 2007 2:56 AM GMT
    OHhikerOk so to get my body in shape for some competitive distance cycling or distance running I need to loose 30 lbs. That's easy, I'll just cut off my arms.

    Two gay men here in Atlanta tried to commit suicide by cutting their arms off with a circular saw. They had tested HIV-positive and had lost their business. Between the two, they cut off three arms. The saw cauterized the wounds, though, and they were found by their landlord before they bled to death.

    Just thought you might like to know.


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    Sep 28, 2007 4:23 AM GMT
    Whatever happend to good old-fasioned hanging? Everybody has to be so original these days.

    Its late. I'm headed to bed to dream of being pinned by OW.
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    Sep 28, 2007 4:32 AM GMT
    It's late, I'm headed to bed to have nightmares after OW's last post.

    Actually it sonly abot 9:30, but I have to be up by 5.

    R
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    Sep 28, 2007 5:28 AM GMT
    I agree cutting off the arms is gory and disturbing, okay, in a venus de milo sort-of-way, well at least she chewed them off and didn't use a chainsaw, well maybe it was a machette or something like that, but no chainsaws in antiquity.

    How about a three way wrestle with OW Crimm?

    Anyway two books that a soldier should read Crimm: 'Johhny Mad Dog' by Emmanuel Dongala, and 'Beasts of no Nation' Uzodinma Iweala. Both fascinating and disturbing African authors who write about what it means to be conscripted to fight when society breaks down.

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    Sep 28, 2007 5:43 AM GMT
    My size seems to help me a lot when swimming and running.
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    Sep 28, 2007 7:20 AM GMT
    This reminds me of the belief some people have that starting gymnastics at a young age will stunt a male's growth, citing that the majority of male gymnasts are relatively short. I usually tell them that perhaps it is simply that short, muscular guys have an advantage in gymnastics, so that the short male gymnasts are the ones who go on to greatness in the sport, while the tall ones go on to become A&F models.
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    Sep 28, 2007 8:37 AM GMT
    east europeans have been using methods to select athletes for sometime. "Talent identification".
    The easiest example of this in gymnastics is the body size and weight to strength ratio. Flexibility, speed and of course later on, passion. These characteristics are developed.

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    Sep 28, 2007 1:11 PM GMT
    Crim: I believe crystal meth was involved in the suicide attempt, so novelty was important.

    WRE: Did you read "Johnny Mad Dog"? I've been thinking I might read it.

    Badcat: I started life as a gymnast and my height indeed became a liability. However, I ended up wrestling instead of appearing on shopping bags, dammit.

    As for the offers to wrestle, now that my knees are fucked, that's not much fun, unless I'm in the mood to be pinned myself.
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    Sep 28, 2007 4:10 PM GMT
    I'm game icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 29, 2007 3:52 AM GMT
    'Johnny Mad Dog' is a good read OW. At least I thought it was really good. A little disturbing at times, but that's part of the point, and probably why more people should read it.