Can I become an athlete at 20? Can I become an athlete at 20?

starting strength gym
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Can I become an athlete at 20?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    28

    Default Can I become an athlete at 20?

    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    • wichita falls texas february 2021 seminar
    • starting strength seminar april 2021
    Coach,

    Do you think a young kid, already a sophomore in college, could pursue high-level competition in a physical sport given his lack of an athletic history or is he more or less destined to always be second to the kid who's been simply doing it longer and wasting his time?

    Thank you sir,

    - Devin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    43,295

    Default

    Depends on the sport and the physical potential of the athlete.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    2,121

    Default

    I became a much better athlete as I aged than I was when I was 20. I am getting very close to 40, and I am still able to run / jump / demonstrate strength at the same level or just slightly above when I was 32. That isn't the norm, but, as Rip pointed out, a lot of your question hinges on what sport you are referring to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    28

    Default

    How can the physical potential of the athlete be measured, predicted, or calculated in order to get an idea - however rough - as to the potential he will have the opportunity to meet?

    The sport in question is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Posts
    993

    Default

    Devin, there are way too many variables to consider. So much so that the answer to this question is really mostly irrelevant.

    I don’t understand why “potential” would matter in the way it sounds like you’re wanting to quantify it. If the answer is “no” or “maybe” does that mean that it’s not worth the effort for this individual?

    High potential guys can get caught by lower potential guys with ridiculous work ethic. The people at the highest levels were born to be there, but the next few tiers of “high level athletes” are not composed entirely of genetic freaks, especially in a sport like BJJ where the pipeline isn’t well defined. It would have been better if this guy started wrestling when he was 4, lifting when he was 12, and started BJJ at 16. But that’s never the case, is it?

    Right now, starting competitive BJJ at 20 years old is not too late like it may be for baseball, football, or soccer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devin Morrison View Post
    Coach,

    Do you think a young kid, already a sophomore in college, could pursue high-level competition in a physical sport given his lack of an athletic history or is he more or less destined to always be second to the kid who's been simply doing it longer and wasting his time?

    Thank you sir,

    - Devin
    I just realized you’re asking this question for yourself. The answer is yes. You can pursue high level competition. You have to be stronger and spend more hours on the mat than your competition. The less naturally athletic you are, the more hours you’ll need on the mat, and the more weight you’ll need to put on the bar. Get to work, my man.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Devin Morrison View Post
    Coach,

    Do you think a young kid, already a sophomore in college, could pursue high-level competition in a physical sport given his lack of an athletic history or is he more or less destined to always be second to the kid who's been simply doing it longer and wasting his time?

    Thank you sir,

    - Devin
    Read Peak by Dr. Anders Ericsson (probably spelled his name wrong) and then read Bounce by Matthew Syed. It'll get your mind right. If you mean high-level such as World Champion, then you have to treat this as a professional and practice correctly more than you ever have in your life. In my experience most BJJ places practice like this: 20-30 minutes of non-sense warm-up, the instructor pulls some technique he or she has never shown before out of their ass and you rep it for maybe 5 minutes, and then you roll and beat the crap out of each other. That is a recipe for sucking at just about anything.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    629

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Devin Morrison View Post
    How can the physical potential of the athlete be measured, predicted, or calculated in order to get an idea - however rough - as to the potential he will have the opportunity to meet?

    The sport in question is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
    I started BJJ when I was 28 and at the age of 35 I have become more athletic at BJJ and in general. A large part of that is due to developing skill at BJJ, but also from getting much stronger, thanks to barbell training.

    There is only one way to find out what your potential is and that’s to keep training.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    460

    Default

    I would question how much the young man or woman truly loves the sport and the grind. I am concerned that without that love of sport and the grind that once he loses a few (or first) competition it will not be “fun” anymore. So the gut check is how much is a young athlete prepared to embrace the suck, regardless of potential? Getting to high levels of competition means being in it for the long haul.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    137

    Default

    The thing with bjj is that there are so many kids now who started when they were 5 years old who are now coming into their late teens who are monsters. But I would think under the proper coaching and definitely including properly barbell training you could reach the upper limits of bjj starting at 20. Definitely not too late.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    107

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    It might be motivational to hear Jocko talk about his BJJ career on Jocko Podcast (some of the earlier episodes). He is a training partner for some of the greats, but only picked up the sport in earnest toward the end of his Navy SEAL career. Before the SEALs I don't believe he ever did any type of martial art or sport.

    Obviously, he has above average strength/fitness if he was able to become a SEAL. But he talks a lot in his podcast about rolling twice a day for years on end because that's what it takes to be good, technically, at BJJ. He also talks about how he'd go away on deployment for 6 months and have to work to get it all back again. You might find those stories motivating, or they might leave you feeling like it's not worth it for you.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •