James, thanks for sharing. A valuable piece of information and certainly worth taking stock of. However I think there’s room for comment in this piece on the impact of environment on alteration of genetic expression– epigenetics.
The output is influenced by the genetic makeup of the individual, the current mindset, beliefs about ability, self efficacy and so on. Environment also influences the output. The facilities, equipment, the coaching, the mentors, parents, weather, homelife and so on.
It is perhaps not inaccurate to say that the organism affects the environment and the environment affects the organism. In other words the inside of individual is in mutual exchage with the outside. Both affect each other and we see an improvement. We develop positively or negatively depending on a whole host of factors.
So although the fundamental genetic makeup of the individual may appear unaltered under influence of behaviour and environment (I’m not convinced of this), how the gene interacts with the organism is altered.
So referring to your baseball and eyesight example, it may be that over time and exposure to a greater degree of demand (promoting positive growth), that the baseball players were not only presented with the opportunity to hone their skills of the game, but also their organism, over which they had little conscious control, had the opportunity to develop sharper skills too i.e. its finely tuned eyesight.
What it really boils down to for me, is that whatever we chose to do, we must get into it 100%, with two feet - Burn the boats! And in doing that we’ve got to be completely selfish. If we’ve looking for applause, looking to fill a hole in ourselves, we’ll get lost and ultimately fail, regardless of how much effort we put into practice or how well predisposed we were genetically to succeed.