The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
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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.
Talent Whisperers Chapter 9: The Teaching Circuit: A Blueprint Chapter 10: Tom Martinez and the $60 Million Bet Epilogue: The Myelin World Notes on Sources Acknowledgments Then [David] took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached Goliath. —1 Samuel 17:40 Introduction THE GIRL WHO DID A MONTH'S WORTH OF PRACTICE IN SIX MINUTES Every journey begins with
test, the masters were not seeing individual chess pieces but recognizing patterns. Where novices saw a scattered alphabet of individual pieces, masters were grouping those “letters” into the chess equivalent of words, sentences, and paragraphs. When the pieces became random, the masters were lost—not because they suddenly became dumber but because their grouping strategy was suddenly useless. The HSE vanished. The difference between chess T. Rexes and ordinary players was not the difference
firing patterns of circuits—at lightning speed. Chunking is a strange concept. The idea that skill—which is graceful, fluid, and seemingly effortless—should be created by the nested accumulation of small, discrete circuits seems counterintuitive, to say the least. But a massive body of scientific research shows that this is precisely the way skills are built—and not just for cognitive pursuits like chess. Physical acts are also built of chunks. When a gymnast learns a floor routine, he assembles
stopped because a sixth grader had teased another student, calling her an elephant. The previous stop had happened when a student rolled his eyes at a teacher. By most reasoning, stopping the school when a student teases or rolls their eyes is a gigantic waste of time. And yet it works. KIPP, like a giant Link trainer, creates an environment for deep-practicing good behavior. Stopping the school for an eye roll is not inefficient; on the contrary, KIPP has found that it's the most efficient way
the workings of myelin link the various talent hotbeds to each other and to the rest of us. Myelination bears the same relationship to human skill as plate tectonics does to geology, or as natural selection does to evolution. It explains the world's complexity with a simple, elegant mechanism. Skill is myelin insulation that wraps neural circuits and that grows according to certain signals. The story of skill and talent is the story of myelin. Clarissa couldn't feel it, but when she was