After reading “Why We Run?” by Bernd Heinrich and “What Could Be Better than a Touchdown?” by Kelefa Sanneh, I have come to agree that mental strength is just as crucial as physical strength in sports. In his excerpt, Bernd Heinrich delves into the physical, mental, and evolutionary aspects that compel humans to run. On the other hand, the article by Kelefa Sanneh investigates the enduring fan controversy surrounding a seemingly straightforward football play resulting in a touchdown.
In his article “Why We Run?”, Bernd Heinrich argues that our mental and physical abilities collaborate in pursuing our sporting aspirations. He likens this dynamic to the relationship between a domesticated dog and a wild wolf, asserting that without dreams or objectives to strive for, we become weak and insignificant. Heinrich also observes that animals like antelopes do not need conscious awareness of their need for speed; their bodies naturally adapt and perform accordingly. Similarly, athletes excel in their sports without necessarily being cognizant of their own talent. Heinrich underscores the significance of movement in life, suggesting it is nearly synonymous with life itself. This suggests that individuals can shape their own life experiences by harnessing both their mind and body, much like athletes utilize their physical and mental capacities to dominate and control the game or sport they are engaged in.
In his article “What Could Be Better than a Touchdown?” Kelefa Sanneh explores the notion that scoring a touchdown in the given circumstances may not have been the right decision. Sanneh suggests that mentally, Dwight Lowry was unaware that scoring the touchdown was the wrong choice, but he physically carried out the action nonetheless (57). As stated, there is less than a 1% chance of these uncommon scenarios actually occurring, emphasizing the importance of mental agility in considering the more probable outcomes (59). Moreover, if Lowry had used his cognitive abilities to make the decision to drop to a knee immediately after catching Favre’s pass, the game would have concluded (59).
Some argue that excelling at sports performance is more about physical prowess than mental strength and agility. However, the evidence in paragraphs 2 and 3 counters this theory, demonstrating that athletes must utilize their bodies to excel in sports.
According to Heinrich’s excerpt and Sanneh’s article, success in sports requires both mental and physical strength. I agree with this statement as it emphasizes the equal importance of both aspects in sports. Mental strength and agility hold the same significance as physical prowess.