Bologna_frog's Reviews > The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
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's review
Jan 02, 2011

1/30 in 2011.

Alaskan author
I heard his interview on "Line One, Your Health Connection" on public radio

How can I use this book? Maybe it would help if I choose an activity to improve my abilities.
Method is most useful for low creativity action, such as sports and music playing.
Coyle identifies three keys to “cracking” the talent code; what he calls deep practice, ignition, and master coaching.

Deep Practice:

**Slow, chunked practice rather than mindless repetition. Deliberate Practice. Setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.

allows myelin to wrap your nerves.

first “chunk” up the information. Put in another way, you must take it “one step at a time.”
see the entirety, break it up to chunks, and sow it way down. You always need feedback, though.

second rule of deep practice is repetition. As you begin to master the individual chunks of a skill, repeating it allows you to build speed and efficiency.

Myelin builds and decays. Practice will maintain myelin.

Lastly, Coyle says that you must “learn to feel it” if you expect to practice deeply. You can think of this as quality of practice or attention to detail.

*It is useless to practice if unnoticed errors are being made.


Find & identify with a role model or superstar. See that it is possible, like the four minute mile. "If he can do it, why can't I?"

Ignition is the term Coyle uses for the motivation to become a world class talent. To become world class at anything **requires an extremely high level of commitment and passion**. Some sort of ignition is required to get that fire burning. The most interesting type of ignition is what Coyle calls the HSE (Holy Shit Effect). This can best be seen when a trailblazer accomplishes something remarkable on a world stage. For example, South Korean golfer Se Ri Pak won the LPGA Championship in 1998. At that time she was the ONLY South Korean golfer on the LPGA Tour. In 2007 there were 33. The same could be said about Russian tennis players (3 ranked in the top 100 in 1998, 15 in 2007). In each case young people from the champion’s country were ignited by their success. They saw someone who looked like them, talked like them, and was from the same area as them succeed on an extreme level and thought, “Holy shit, that could be me.”

Master Coaching: The third component of unlocking talent is the role of coaching. Master coaches are the people behind the scenes that are driving the talent hotbeds around the world. They tend to be older, perceptive, deliver information to their students in short bursts, and even tend to be somewhat theatrical. However, not all master coaches fall into this pattern as a lot of their style depends on what they are coaching. For example, Brazilian soccer coaches are much more quiet than their classical music counterparts. In the end, these master coaches guide their ignited students and teach them how to practice deeply.
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