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The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born. It's grown [Paperback]

Daniel Coyle
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

4 Mar 2010

'Talent. You've either got it or you haven't.' Not true, actually.

In The Talent Code, award-winning journalist Daniel Coyle draws on cutting-edge research to reveal that, far from being some abstract mystical power fixed at birth, ability really can be created and nurtured.

In the process, he considers talent at work in venues as diverse as a music school in Dallas and a tennis academy near Moscow to demostrate how the wiring of our brains can be transformed by the way we approach particular tasks. He explains what is really going on when apparently unremarkable people suddenly make a major leap forward. He reveals why some teaching methods are so much more effective than others. Above all, he shows how all of us can achieve our full potential if we set about training our brains in the right way.

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The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born. It's grown + The Little Book of Talent + Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (4 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8129101890
  • ISBN-13: 978-8129101891
  • ASIN: 0099519852
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"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, Dist)

Book Description

A completely new perspective on the way in which people acquire skill and talent

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 2 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An interesting read about how "talent" develops. Apparently in most cases, such a thing as talent does not exist, and it is more down to how hard you work and practice.
First, you need "ignition", an event that makes you want to become great at something.
Secondly, you need mentoring, a teacher who can support you and correct your errors.
Thirdly, you need deep practice, a state of deep focus where you analyse what you are doing in the finest detail and correct your errors.
The purpose of practice is to strengthen the myelin strand coatings in the brain to strengthen brain connections made during practice.
Overall, a good book, useful to parents, and anyone involved in studying and learning of any kind.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good information and clearly written 10 Nov 2009
By Matthew Leitch VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is definitely worth reading. It's got quite a lot of good research-based information, some other interesting ideas, and it's easy to read.

Most of all it's a very useful book. You don't have to be an aspiring world champion to be interested in how to get lots more benefit from time you spend practising, and the book has lots of specific stuff on this topic.

I read sections of it to my children and they actually seemed interested.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 3 Jan 2010
Well worth a read. A much more detailed development of the work that Gladwell did in Outliers.

It suffers a little from some "Bad Science" in the sense that there are some fairly serious assumptions made from limited data but at heart there is some really fascinating information. It seems like there has been a rash of this type of book recently but for anyone seriously considering trying to improve a physical skill this particular book is essential reading.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good as far as it goes 1 Sep 2012
By artlamo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Daniel Coyle's thesis is fairly basic. Talent is not inherent, but can be grown. This puts him fairly firmly on the side of the nurture side of the nature/nurture debate. But that's not what's central, as he says; that debate is pretty unproductive. He's trying to define what kinds of nurturing factors can grow talent, and splits them into two main groups: ignition and learning.

The learning techniques he describes well, calling the most successful process he identifies 'deep practice'. With examples, he demonstrates how even the most successful talents have put huge amounts of carefully coached effort into becoming great. As he quotes Michelangelo as saying, if only they knew how much work it took. This is something like 3-5hrs a day for 7-10years, to reach the 'magic' figure of 10,000 hours. Coyle does fall into the pop-science trap of fixating on one particular element of building neural skills patterns - myelin - and repeating that word as often as he can throughout the book. However, the neurological theory which explains the process of skill-building is explained clearly.

So far, so clear. But then the book moves on to talk about the second factor - ignition. It is fairly easy to explain and have your readers accept that huge amounts of hard-working-practice can develop great skills. It is much less easy to show the factors which enable people to develop and maintain the motivation and focus to keep working at that level for such a long time. Randomly disconnected facts are thrown at us: a disproportionate number of successful politicians and scientists lost a parent at a young age; 100m mens' sprint champions are nearly all younger sons; there is an ignition effect when 'someone like me' achieves, enabling me to believe that 'I can too'.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A talented read 6 Oct 2009
I bought this book on the recommendation of my brother. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting too much. I was wrong. The book is surprisingly good. It takes a number of different elements that you may have read about in other books (e.g. that to become an expert in any discipline takes a minimum of 10,000 hours practise) and extends them much further. I was impressed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview 11 Feb 2010
This is written by a journalist, and so it is really a fast moving overview and inspirational, but you would need to go elsewhere to find the details if you wanted to apply specific techniques.

The basic premise is that people get more skilled at doing something because they have increased the myelin shield on the neurotically pathway that applies to that skill. This myelin degenerates if it is not used, so you cannot lose a habit you can only use a new habit that eventual takes over.

Therefore you to be skilled at something you have to practice it. What build the shield is practising at the edge of what you know, making mistakes and correcting them. He calls this deep practice. That's it basically. He also gives examples of coaches or teachers who did bring success out of people, i.e. the Russian tennis club, John Wooden, but you would need to go elsewhere to get depth on what they did.

He points out the need for a spark phase, like the first Korean WPGA winner encouraging other Koreans, but that's not something you can control, and in any event anybody who has watched Kdrama will know that things are different over there.

Some of his examples turn out to be wrong or dubious. As of this year, JaMarcus Russell is the worst quarterback in the NFL, and has been criticised going off to Vegas and missing a team meeting, so clearly that didn't work. Wiki has also identified some controversial points about the KIPP schools
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book. Really challenges what you think with very ...
Interesting book. Really challenges what you think with very interesting case studies, very relevant if you're a coach of any sport or dining coaching related courses.
Published 2 days ago by Charlotte
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Enlightening and motivating book. The major point I took with me, from the book is, intelligence is only a fraction of success. Read more
Published 1 month ago by William
5.0 out of 5 stars the talent code
Very interesting book gave insight about nervous system and build up of myelin around nerves by practising and correcting mistakes made
Published 2 months ago by E G BUCKLEY
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of ticket science and the obvious
This is a book about how to become really great at skills such as sports or music performance.

As a pro musician and music coach, I was obviously highly interested. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars truly inspiring about learning and teaching
This is a great book for everyone who never bought into the talent myth - that some people are just born with it and others don't have a chance. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SoundOfTheDeep
5.0 out of 5 stars Really challenged my thinking
This is a great book - it really challenged the way I think. I also think it is an imperfect book. There were a couple of leaps that I just did not get, or maybe agreed with. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Daniel Coyle's in-depth research has made a potentially complex subject about neuroscience and how we master skills easy to absorb and understand. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Katherine Wiid
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all teachers!
What a fantastic book! Very readable, informative and inspiring. I have been teaching 40 years this year and now my intuitive style of teaching has been described and confirmed. Read more
Published 4 months ago by G. Hugman
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing
Mind set changing. For my football (soccer) coaching it's made a massive difference. Simply brilliant. A hard read but worth every second.
Published 4 months ago by Andrew HD
4.0 out of 5 stars Capturing
Very thought provoking and interesting theory. Causes you to look at your own experiences and understand the subtle, powerful messages in our environment we don't normally see.
Published 5 months ago by Danny
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