The brains of people who perform complex tasks such as shooting a gun or a basketball -and do it very well- are different from the average brain. While participating in their chosen sport, an athlete must constantly predict movement, analyze feedback, and make adjustments to maximize performance. A series of experiments by different scientists find that athletes' brains emit stronger alpha waves, which indicate a restful state. Also, the different parts of the athletes' brains communicate with each other better than non-athletes. The best part is that training affects the brain's anatomy!
As soon as someone starts to practice a new sport, his brain begins to change, and the changes continue for years. Scientists at the University of Regensburg in Germany documented the process by scanning people as they learned how to juggle. After a week, the jugglers were already developing extra gray matter in some brain areas. Their brains continued to change for months, the scientists found.
So there may be hope for us non-athletes after all! Link
(image credit: Flickr user Jason Permenter