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The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born.…
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The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's…

by Daniel Coyle

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The path to greatness is constant improvement

All skills have to be acquired through practice, repetition and automatization, from the basics most of us take for granted from learning to walk and talk and type to more complex skill sets such as playing a sport or musical instrument and integrative thinking, with each higher order level of complexity building on top of all those that came before it. In this very readable book, Daniel Coyle takes us through a series of intriguing case studies to show us how this occurs, and how we can optimize the process.

In Part I, he examines the type of deep practice required for the sustained, long-term improvement that leads to mastery. In Part II, he focuses on the importance of igniting a deep passion for the process that provides the motivation needed to sustain the ongoing practice. And Part III discusses the role of mentors and modeling in accelerating the process. All three parts are intriguing and insightful, and add up to a comprehensive model of achieving greatness in any domain.

Some reviewers have complained that his treatment of the neuroscience is superficial or that he doesn't delve deeply enough into specific methods of deep practice. If that's what they want, by all means they should go read other more specialized books on those topics, but that's not the point of this book. The Talent Code is a major inductive integration identifying the principles (and basic underlying neural mechanisms) common to all skill acquisition. I would also recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg as a nice companion to this.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3VI5W3ZYKPDDP ( )
  AshRyan | Apr 14, 2015 |
A must read for everyone! Talent is developed. That's not to say that an aptitude doesn't help, but it's all about developing the skill requisite for success. ( )
  MathMaverick | Nov 1, 2014 |
I am not much of a nonfiction reader, but this book grabbed my attention. i am a firm believer in hard work and thought to achieve a goal. Coyle not only emphasizes this concept throughout this book but gives great analogies and anecdotes to back up his theories. And, the scientific evidence he cites is very compelling. ( )
  LynetteS | Jul 13, 2013 |
Another nurture-trumps-nature book, making the case that proficiency in any given domain is more a product of encouragement, motivation, and lots of what Anders Ericsson calls "deliberate practice". A fascinating and potentially useful look at how to become great at things you want to do. ( )
  chaosmogony | Apr 27, 2013 |
An easy and fun read speculating on (with some evidence to back it up) the role of myelination as a chief component of of talent.

As Coyle writes: "Skill is myelin insulation that wraps neural circuits and that grows according to certain signals." It is this insulation that makes those circuits FASTER and more efficient.

Hence, talent, might well be described by circuits that have been well myelinated due to deep practice over many years (Coyle mentions the 10,000 hour hypothesis that one may hear elsewhere, too).

Coyle hypothesizes that Talent is the result of IGNITION (of desire to learn something), followed by DEEP PRACTICE (which requires that one struggle just beyond the limits of one's present capabilities so that mistakes are made and corrected), coupled with MASTER COACHING where a mindful coach knows just how to provide the proper feedback that enhances this deep practice. Struggle is necessary and essential.

Note that though my review mentions myelination as does Coyle's book, "The Talent Code" is NOT technical and is a VERY EASY read - I recommend it to anyone!
I first became interested in this book when one of my favorite authors, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, referred to it in his book, "The Mindful Therapist". Knowing the rigor of Dr. Siegel in his own works, and Dr. Siegel's command of neuroscience, I extrapolate that Daniel Coyle must have done a reasonable job in synthesizing a story on talent and myelination.

How does one do "Deep Practice?"
Coyle suggests three rules:
1. Chuck it up:
Absorb the whole thing.
Break it into chunks.
Slow it down.
2. Repeat it.
3. Learn to feel it.

Read Coyle's book to learn more! ( )
2 vote motjebben | Jul 10, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055380684X, Hardcover)

What is the secret of talent? How do we unlock it? In this groundbreaking work, journalist and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle provides parents, teachers, coaches, businesspeople—and everyone else—with tools they can use to maximize potential in themselves and others.

Whether you’re coaching soccer or teaching a child to play the piano, writing a novel or trying to improve your golf swing, this revolutionary book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism.

Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world’s talent hotbeds—from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York—Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.

• Deep Practice--Everyone knows that practice is a key to success. What everyone doesn’t know is that specific kinds of practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.

• Ignition--We all need a little motivation to get started. But what separates truly high achievers from the rest of the pack? A higher level of commitment—call it passion—born out of our deepest unconscious desires and triggered by certain primal cues. Understanding how these signals work can help you ignite passion and catalyze skill development.

• Master Coaching--What are the secrets of the world’s most effective teachers, trainers, and coaches? Discover the four virtues that enable these “talent whisperers” to fuel passion, inspire deep practice, and bring out the best in their students.

These three elements work together within your brain to form myelin, a microscopic neural substance that adds vast amounts of speed and accuracy to your movements and thoughts. Scientists have discovered that myelin might just be the holy grail: the foundation of all forms of greatness, from Michelangelo’s to Michael Jordan’s. The good news about myelin is that it isn’t fixed at birth; to the contrary, it grows, and like anything that grows, it can be cultivated and nourished.

Combining revelatory analysis with illuminating examples of regular people who have achieved greatness, this book will not only change the way you think about talent, but equip you to reach your own highest potential.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

This book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism. Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world's talent hotbeds, author Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.--From publisher description.… (more)

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