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Success in sports has traditionally been linked to not just size, strength and speed, but intangibles like drive and focus. Sports enthusiasts will tell you that those who try hardest and want it the most are the ones who ultimately succeed.
But what if athleticism is actually determined by your eye color?
It sounds crazy, but recent research suggests that it may be partially true. So what does the color of your eyes have to do with your ability to dunk a basket or hit a baseball? Keep reading, and discover why the race may not go to the swift, but rather to the ones with the right eye color.
The idea that sports aptitude may be connected to eye color comes from the fact that people with lighter eyes are slightly more sensitive to light, as less pigment in the eye means less protection from light sources.
Seems simple enough, but some scientists theorized that this sensitivity to light may subtly impact things like reaction time – which, of course, plays a large role in many types of sports.
Also check out: Surprising Personality Traits Revealed by Your Eye Color
The Benefit of Having Darker Eyes
With this in mind, several studies have been conducted to determine whether or not having darker eyes leads to greater athletic ability. And the initial results indicate that darker eyes may indeed provide an advantage in reactive activities such as boxing or hitting a baseball, as the reduced sensitivity to light allows for quicker visual recognition and thus faster reaction time.
For example, one test which involved hitting racquetballs determined that men with dark eyes performed better than those with light eyes. Interestingly, performance also was affected by the color of the balls as well, with blue racquetballs easier to hit than green or yellow balls – suggesting that darker eyes may have an easier time filtering certain color wavelengths.
The Benefit of Having Lighter Eyes
Before you folks with light eyes give up your dreams of playing professional sports, though, the news isn’t all bad. While most scientists generally agree that people with darker eyes perform better in sports that require quicker reaction time, studies have indicated that people with lighter colored eyes perform better in activities that are self-paced – such as golf, bowling or pitching a baseball.
Why? Well, that’s still unclear. And while studies are ongoing, the data isn’t always consistent, as some researchers have found no significant difference in performance between people with different eye colors (such as in this study of school children).
So no matter what color your eyes are, keep playing. Because in the end, keeping your eye on the ball is most important.
Like this story? You should also read: The Genetics Behind Your Eye Color