CBS News Poll: Does practice make perfect in sports?

CBS/AP

Americans appear to agree with the old adage "practice makes perfect," at least when it comes to athletic ability.

A new CBS News "Sunday Morning" Pulse Poll finds 61 percent of Americans think athletic ability is mostly achieved through practice and hard work, while just a quarter think it is mostly something with which you are born.

Fourteen percent say athletic ability is a combination of both.

But younger Americans are more inclined to believe that practice is the primary attribution for athletic ability: 70 percent of those ages 18-29 feel that way, compared to 58 percent of those who are 30+.

Also men (at 27 percent) are a bit more likely than women (19 percent) to credited athletic prowess to one's genes.

CBS News poll March 2014: Genetics and athletic ability (pdf)

This poll was conducted by telephone from March 19-23, 2014 among 1,016 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by Social Science Research Solutions of Media, Pa. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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