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The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle
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The Little Book of Talent

by Daniel Coyle

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Years ago, there was always available Coyle's Book of Games; however, this book is more of a self-improvement publication. Teaching Company lecturer, neuroscientist, Sam Wang, in outlining the function of the various sections of the brain, provides a more transparent explanation of focused talent.. ( )
  Naren559 | Sep 28, 2013 |
Nice little book with tips from Coyle's experience and research. Seems very good to look at before trying to teach kids, but also in general. I made notes of most of the tips:
1. Stare at those you want to become.
2. Spend 15 min engraving the skill want to learn. Listen, watch, etc. project oneself. Redo classics.
3. Steal without apology.
4. Keep a notebook. Reflect.
5. Don't be afraid to be stupid, especially when trying new things.
6. Choose spartan over luxurious. Focus on task.
7. Figure out if hard (exact, consistent) or soft (agile, adapting) skill.
11. Don't fall for prodigy myth.
13. Practice central, not drudgery.
14. Reaches and reps, not time.
15. Break down into chunks.
16. One perfect chunk each day. Achievable goals.
17. Embrace struggle.
18. 5 min/day rather than 1h/week.
19. Create small, addictive game, e.g. by giving points.
20. Practice alone.
21. Think in images.
22. Immediate attention after mistake.
23. Visualize the new connections made in the brain and the wires getting faster.
24. Compress the skill to small area or with other restrictions.
25. Slow it down.
26. Close your eyes. Awareness, balance, etc.
27. Mime it.
29. Mark it when perfect.
30. Take a nap. Strengthens the brains new connections.
31. Exaggerate the move to be learned.
32. Make positive reaches. Focus on reaching goal rather than not failing.
33. Challenge yourself also with small tasks, like write summary after having read something.
34. Sandwich technique: Correct-incorrect-correct.
35. Three times-ten min break.
36. Daily small tests, games. Measurable, fun, repeatable.
37. REPS. Reaching and repeating, engaging, purposeful, strong speedy feedback.
38. Stop before exhausted. Fatigue not good.
39. Practice immediately after performance. Helps target weak points.
40. Mental movie before sleep. Ideal performance.
41. End on positive note.
42. To be better teachers:
Use first few seconds to connect on emotional level, establish trust.
Vivid and short in stead of long speeches.
No mushy language, be precise and concrete.
Scorecard for learning, metric that tracks skills. Ex: number of accurate passes in stead of scores.
Maximize reachfulness, lots of training for all. Reach: just outside current comfort zone.
Aim to create independent learners that can reach for themselves.
Part 3. Sustaining progress, etc.
43. Embrace repetition, creates circuitry needed. Tool, not a chore. Can be better with a little good than much not as good.
44. Blue-collar mindset - steady work.
45. Not too many games, skills better developed through practice.
46. Build good habits in stead of trying to break bad.
47. Teach to learn. Also for kids.
48. Min 8 weeks for new skill.
49. When get stuck/plateau, make a shift. Force slower, faster, backwards, etc-to get out of autopilot.
50. Cultivate grit. Makes the difference in the long run. Can take grit test online to learn more.
51. Keep big goals secret.
52. Talent grows slowly, think like a gardener, work like a carpenter. ( )
  ohernaes | Sep 12, 2013 |
Short and to the point. Useful tips for anyone wanting to develop a talent in themselves or others. Coaches, teachers, etc in particular. ( )
  Jellyn | Aug 14, 2013 |
I put this book down over and over again, not because I didn't want to go on, but because I wanted to immediately implement something from a chapter into my daily routine, or because I wanted to share one of the tips with a friend.

I will definitely be focusing on these tips as I work towards specific goals, and I am anxious to see if the result is improved progress. ( )
  ElOsoBlanco | Jul 15, 2013 |
I won a copy through Goodreads' Firstreads giveaway program!!!

I am always skeptical of self-help books, but “The Little Book of Talent” is more of a pocket reference guide. There are undoubtedly a couple tips in here that everyone already knows…but moreover many you never thought to try.
Coyle offers quotes from famous successes and examples for how these tips relate to everyday talents. I especially enjoyed his focus of nurturing ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills. Although this is not a new concept, the author explains in a logical way how to really fine-tune seemingly daunting skill sets.
I plan to share this book with friends because the viewpoint is fresh and the collective experiences ring true. Happy reading!
( )
  hopefully86 | May 1, 2013 |
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Epigraph
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
-Aristotle
Dedication
For Jenny
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A few years back, on assignment for a magazine, I began visiting talent hotbeds: tiny places that produce large numbers of world-class performers in sports, art, music, business, math, and other disciplines.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034553025X, Hardcover)

The Little Book of Talent is a manual for building a faster brain and a better you. It is an easy-to-use handbook of scientifically proven, field-tested methods to improve skills—your skills, your kids’ skills, your organization’s skills—in sports, music, art, math, and business. The product of five years of reporting from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds and interviews with successful master coaches, it distills the daunting complexity of skill development into 52 clear, concise directives. Whether you’re age 10 or 100, whether you’re on the sports field or the stage, in the classroom or the corner office, this is an essential guide for anyone who ever asked, “How do I get better?”

The Little Book of Talent should be given to every graduate at commencement, every new parent in a delivery room, every executive on the first day of work. It is a guidebook—beautiful in its simplicity and backed by hard science—for nurturing excellence.”—Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit
 
“It’s so juvenile to throw around hyperbolic terms such as ‘life-changing,’ but there’s no other way to describe The Little Book of Talent. I was avidly trying new things within the first half hour of reading it and haven’t stopped since. Brilliant. And yes: life-changing.”—Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:08 -0400)

Presents weekly rules for developing inherent abilities, drawing on cutting-edge science and insights by international trainers in a variety of disciplines to outline techniques that tap the brain's natural programming.

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