This week I read a Guardian article that correlates left-handedness with an advantage in professional sports. The article begins with a claim that “Athletes could help us understand why most people are right-handed,” then goes on to summarize the hypothesis of a study done on leftie trends.
This hypothesis, as far as I can understand, claims that left-handedness is an evolutionary phenomenon, and that being left handed will help a person in a competitive setting, i.e. sports. This study recorded that “The more competitive the sport, the higher the share of left-handers (over 50% of top baseball players are left-handed)” due to an advantage that left handers have. What is this advantage though? The researchers claim that, “physical competition…favors the unusual” and they use boxing as an example because it is unexpected and the right handed boxers are not used to training and fighting against a more left sided fighter.
Now to the analysis of the article and the study. There does not seem to be any significant biases, both researchers were right handed, and publishing and article about left handed athletes would not help or hurt The Guardian’s stocks or contributors, it is just some honest reporting. This may have some future implications in a recruiting aspect. Possibly after reading this article or the study coaches will be more likely to recruit a left handed athlete, but to see if that is the case we will need some more data.
Now personally, as a left handed person, how does this affect me? Sadly it doesn’t. There is nothing very athletic about me so I definitely do not see any advantage to my daily life. Maybe if Emma was right handed she would throw a ball even worse than the left handed Emma, but the only athletic thing I can do is run away from a Trump supporter.
Maybe I won’t contribute to the great lefties in history like Obama, but at least the leftie community will have some great athletes to claim before we all ‘die sooner’.