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 planet’s greatest talent hotbeds: tiny places that produce Everest-size amounts of talent. Places like a ramshackle tennis court in Moscow, a music academy in New York’s Adirondacks, and a baseball-mad island in the Caribbean. While these places seem different on the surface, when he looked closer, he saw they shared strikingly similar methods that had to do with the fundamental ways we acquire skill. They shared a pattern — especially when it came to coaches — which Daniell has distilled into three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimise 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 recommend [The Talent Code] to those who believe talent is only a gift rather than "deep practice" and commitment to mastery."
— Tony Robbins
"I’d buy the book for two reasons. Firstly, Coyle is a fine writer and makes an excellent pick of examples to illustrate his case. Secondly, he delves into an area few others have tackled: the neurophysiology of learning, or what happens to the architecture of the brain during practice."
— New Scientist
An exciting, accessible window into research that could trigger a revolution in education and the treatment of mental illness, this intriguing study also puts better-known models of learning into perspective: "Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."
— Publishers Weekly
"The brain is phenomenally plastic. We construct ourselves through behavior. As Coyle observes, it’s not who you are, it’s what you do."
— David Brooks, New York Times
"A fantastic book."
— Anders Berglund, former IKEA Canada President