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The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  5,467 ratings  ·  450 reviews
The Little Book of Talent is a manual for building a faster brain and a better you. It is an easy-to-use handbook of scientifically proven, field-tested methods to improve skills—your skills, your kids’ skills, your organization’s skills—in sports, music, art, math, and business. The product of five years of reporting from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds and interviews with ...more
Kindle Edition, 161 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  5,467 ratings  ·  450 reviews

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Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy, tot, to-buy-reread
Getting started

1.Stare at who you want to become
Studies show that even a brief connection with a role model can vastly increase unconscious motivation.“windshield”.

2.Spend fifteen minutes a day engraving the skill on your brain
watch the skill being performed, closely and with great intensity, over and over, until you build a high-definition mental blueprint.
The key to effective engraving is to create an intense connection: to watch and listen so closely that you can imagine the feeling of perfor/>2.Spend
Eric Wallace
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
First you should know before continuing to read my review is that I am totally addicted to books about increasing productivity, developing talent and creativity, probing how the mind works and how to get the most out of it, and building good habits and influencing positive decisions. So how could I not like this book?

And yet because of said affliction, there were few ideas or concepts that were new for me, simply because I've read so much on these similar topics. Still, I enjoyed the
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great tips here, including:

TIP #4
"...write stuff down and reflect on it. Results from today. Ideas for tomorrow. Goals for next week. A notebook works like a map: It creates clarity."

TIP #16
"...set a daily SAP: smallest achievable perfection. In this technique, you pick a single chunk that you can perfect—not just improve, not just “work on,” but get 100 percent consistently correct."
Amir Tesla
Nuggets of applied techniques for effective learning and training many of which if employed enables you to achieve the results of 1 year training in just couple of months.

This book would be a great companion to his other amazing one "The talent code"
It's supposed to be a pocket book, so, the material are quite concise. I'd prefer more in-depth material, hence the two withheld stars.
Marissa Morrison
Stare at what you want to become (e.g. watch YouTube videos).
Musicians should have "listening practice" as well as playing practice.
Play super-slowly to find mistakes.
Work in a simple, spartan space.
Learning hard skills requires precision and repetition.
Soft skills require variation and improv.
Don't stop practicing the basics.
Good coaches are impolite, scary, succinct, focused on fundamentals, and older. They also make an emotional connection in the firs
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: help-yourself
I won a copy through Goodreads' Firstreads giveaway program!!!

I am always skeptical of self-help books, but “The Little Book of Talent” is more of a pocket reference guide. There are undoubtedly a couple tips in here that everyone already knows…but moreover many you never thought to try.
Coyle offers quotes from famous successes and examples for how these tips relate to everyday talents. I especially enjoyed his focus of nurturing ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills. Although this is not a new
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had a lot of really great advice. And you can read it in a few short hours. Don't ask me to list it out for you, but I know it will come out of my head when it's needed. Oh! Here's something I remember. They talked about a therapy for shyness. Instead of delving into your past and figuring out why you were what you were, they just decided to create good habits. So the first assignment would be, Go ask a stranger what time it is, then go ask 5 strangers. All culminating to the final mom ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to win this book through a Goodreads giveaway. This is a great book on the topic. It isn't filled with fluff or wordiness. Just a common sense approach that gets right to the point. Some of the tips were new to me and it was well worth the read. I would recommend to anyone.
This small book looks like one of those small books received as a graduation present. If a person did receive it, s/he might smile politely, and express gratitude while secretly wishing they had received cash instead. It would be a shame if the recipient never read it, because this book contains nuggets of wisdom beneficial to anyone looking to succeed in the workplace, improve on the sports field, or become a better musician.

This book can be easily skimmed (which is what I did), sto
Anna Berendzen
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I'm not one for reading the self-help kind of books but I liked this one. I received it through the first reads program. It is very short and to the point with each of the tips being no more than two pages. An easy read to expand your knowledge!
Ahmad Hossam
A bible of inspiration and practical advice for skill developments. I admire its conciseness and clear cut instructions; if you're only interested in conclusions, not arguments or lengthy scientific discussions underlying self-improvement , this is the perfect book for you.
Jalynn Patterson
I really enjoyed this book. Who doesn't need to improve our talent from time to time? My favorite tip take a nap. With four kids running around I could always use this one.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audible version: this short book is a great one for anyone learning something or teaching something. The chapters are just a few minutes long and could be used by teachers to share with their students how the learning process works and what it takes to build skills.
I won this book through the goodreads first reads program.

Received this book - with postage due! Only 59 cents, but still! Why didn't they just send it media mail instead of first class? This is an uncorrected proof, so I can't quote it.

I haven't read The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else. For art, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative may be better.

I definitely think this book would be a worthwhile read fo
Mikki Ibarra
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Moses! I am in love with this book! Okay, I don't usually like self-help books, or inspirational type things, but I do adore things like writing prompts and simple suggestions to increase chances of success. This book sort of hauls all of that in and shoves it into these handy little tips, all of which are not beyond anyone's reach. Wow, I just keep reading and re-reading and my roommate has already told me that he is stealing the book from me when I am not looking. He read through it befor ...more
Eric Jensen
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Little Book of Talent is a 'how to' guide based on Daniel Coyle's research on the science and practice of skill building and coaching (see his previous book The Talent Code). He presents 52 tips organized into three sections: Getting Started, Improving Skills, and Maintaining Progress. Coyle's approach differs from most books written by athletic coaches and music teachers in his divergent focus and emphasis on the underlying neuroscience of skill building. While this is not really a scientif ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Putting this book on hold at the library was step one. Bringing it home, step two. And then it sat on my coffee table because I wasn't ready for another non-fiction lecture, even though the topic intrigued me.

When I received a notice from the library it was due, I renewed it, and opened it up. Step three.

From there I consumed it hungrily, talking with others I met about all I was learning from its short and precise chapters. This book is not long or dry. It is informative with relev
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free advanced copy in soft cover.

Wow this book is great. I like the fact that it is tips, small concise ideas, that you can add to your life. I don't like the usual self help books because they are long about explaining why this idea will help. Just give me the tip and the supporting theory and I can choose to add it to my life.

This book has a few tips that I may not totally agree with, but there are many excellent ideas that make great sense. It's like "why didn't I th
Ahmed Zunair Cheema
In my estimation, this book should serve as the benchmark for self-help genre. It is concise and hence time saving but at the same time it touches almost all the relevant issues concerned with honing one’s skills.
We are already aware of some of the principles discussed but a revision rekindles the value of these things.
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a bedside / reminder book.
Taken most of its ideas from other sources (which is perfectly fine - awesome even!)

The main tenets:
Prodigies only go so far; practice makes people awesome
Focus - in various forms is needed for developing true talent
Teaching is awesome
Mistakes are awesome
Be a stoic
Be slow, repetitive, ever changing, focused... etc.

Note: Methodical persistence pays
Anne Bogel
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I put off reading this for way too long because I thought it looked like one of those pretty but low-quality books that are made for gifting. It's not. This is a fabulous read/handbook/reference for anyone geeking out on the subject of deliberate practice like I am.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Handy list of evidence-based strategies for honing raw capacities into excellence. Each tip is clear, concise, and concretely illustrated with examples or anecdotes. Overall: informative and fun to read.
Jean Konieczny
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-books
A fun book full of tips! Simple things, everyone should do, no matter your talent! Great book, great advice!
Nuno Miguel
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: productivity
Building on the "Talent Code", Daniel Coyle consolidates the foundations of its talent theory in a body of 52 tips, aimed to sharpen your talent skills. This book could be a final chapter of "The Talent Code", a more practical hands-on approach to the principles enumerated throughout the book. This is good stuff, the tips are precise, and very effective. Give it a try!
Lisa Welch
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great little resource (and quick read) about how to build skills and talent. There are so many applications to my own life that I thought about while I was reading this - not just personally but professionally for my students as well.
This was a really fast read book with reference points on how to develop talent. As a new mom, I found myself thinking through the advice both in the context of my personal talents, but also those of my child. I will likely purchase a copy to have on hand in the future.
Juan Manuel Sotelo
A little book with great pointers on how to develop new skills.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This gave me SO many ideas for my students and showed me where I was making mistakes with them. It also showed me why, in some ways, I was inadvertently more successful than some of my colleagues. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to improve something.
Henri Hämäläinen
I loved Daniel Coyle's previous book the Talent Code. That's the reason I wanted check another book from him, The Little Book of Talent - 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills.

Quite soon after I started to read this book, it became obvious that this book has the same contents as his previous one, just in much simpler form. For that reason, it is hard to review this one as a separate book. The ideas and information behind all the tips are good ones. Formatting these to the form of short t
Pranav Mutatkar
I am just going to go about talking about where all of this fits into my PASTE frame work.

Stare at who you want to become is classic P. Petri Dish ( to eat better). Steal like an artist from your idols. And learn from your learnings.

Copying what others did is P and active deconstruction is A-Analyze like an asshole. These are questions like... what are the critical moves here? How do they perform these moves differently than I do. Part of A should get a notebook (basically form a selection whe
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Daniel Coyle is the author of the upcoming book The Culture Code (January 2018). He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent, The Secret Race (with Tyler Hamilton), and other books. Winner (with Hamilton) of the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Prize, he is a contributing editor for Outside magazine, and also works a special advisor to the Cle ...more
“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect.” 12 likes
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