Synopses & Reviews
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, business people — 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 worlds 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.
"I only wish I'd never before used the words 'breakthrough' or 'breathtaking' or 'magisterial' or 'stunning achievement' or 'your world will never be the same after you read this book.' Then I could be using them for the first and only time as I describe my reaction to Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code. I am even willing to 'guarantee' that you will not read a more important and useful book in 2009, or pretty much any other year. And if all that's not enough, it's also 'a helluva good read.'" Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence
"This is a remarkable — even inspiring — book. Daniel Coyle has woven observations from brain research, behavioral research, and real-world training into a conceptual tapestry of genuine importance. What emerges is both a testament to the remarkable potential we all have to learn and perform and an indictment of any idea that our individual capacities and limitations are fixed at birth." Dr. Robert Bjork, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology, UCLA
“Daniel Coyle digs deep into the core of the insatiable desire to become 'better.' An amazing read with many practical applications for everyday life.” Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic gold medalist
Albert Einstein, Pele, Charlotte Bronte, and Michelangelo: How did they all get to be such dazzling geniuses? Where did their greatness come from? The answer lies within their brains, in myelin, a neural substance that turns out to be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Those who have mastered their craft have lots of myelin. And you can too. You just have to learn how to grow it.
In this revolutionary book, New York Times bestselling journalist Daniel Coyle takes you on an illuminating journey across the globe to nine of the world's most prolific hotbeds of talent to reveal the key to unlocking human potential. From the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical music academy in upstate New York, Coyle is on the search for the clues that will answer some of the most intriguing questions about talent:
Why is one impoverished Russian tennis club able to put out more Top 20 women players than the entire U.S.?
How did all three Bronte sisters become literary all-stars?
How does a group of inner-city charter schools manage to send 80 percent of its students to college?
What enables a humble music school in a mall in Texas to produce a string of pop stars — including Jessica Simpson?
The secret to acquiring skill, Coyle discovers, comes down to three elements: the right kinds of practice, coaching, and motivation. When these three elements converge and you learn how to operate at the edge of your abilities, you activate the neurological mechanism that promotes the growth of myelin, the microscopic nerve-fiber insulator that adds speed and accuracy to your movements and thoughts. Combining vivid examples with deft analysis, this book will not only change the way you view talent, but enable you to reach your own fullest potential.
About the Author
Daniel Coyle is the author of the New York Times bestseller Lance Armstrong's War and Hardball: A Season in the Projects, and is a contributing editor for Outside magazine. He lives with his wife and four children in Homer, Alaska, where he coaches a rapidly improving Little League team.