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The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Daniel Coyle , John Farrell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 28 2009
A New York Times bestselling author explores cutting-edge brain science to learn where talent comes from, how it grows—and how we can make ourselves smarter.

How does a penniless Russian tennis club with one indoor court create more top 20 women players than the entire United States? How did a small town in rural Italy produce the dozens of painters and sculptors who ignited the Italian Renaissance? Why are so many great soccer players from Brazil?

Where does talent come from, and how does it grow?

New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition—in athletics, fine arts, languages, science or math—that can be successfully applied through a person’s entire lifespan.

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The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything + The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills
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“Coyle’s work becomes as motivational as the stories he presents. John Farrell reads with a voice that is at once firm yet highly identifiable. The resulting recording serves as a fine instructional guide for those searching for how to fulfill their dreams.”
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)

“[Farrell] lays out the technical information and fascinating case histories with unwavering respect for the author’s contribution to adult learning.”

About the Author

DANIEL COYLE is the author of The Talent Code and the New York Times bestseller Lance Armstrongs War and Hardball: A Season in the Projects. A contributing editor of Outside magazine, he lives with his wife and four children in Homer, Alaska and Cleveland, Ohio.

JOHN FARRELL made his stage debut in high school in the title role of Barbara Garson's political satire "Macbird". Since then, he has made thousands of appearances onstage, on camera and in front of the microphone. Among his many credits are numerous radio and tv commercials, documentaries, audio books and the voice of Franklin, the wise old British car, in the "Auto B. Goode" cartoon series. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Jeanine.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We are myelin beings." OK, but so what? May 10 2009
In recent years, there have been several books and even more articles written in response to research conducted by Anders Ericsson in these subject areas: the structure and acquisition of expert performance, experts' ability to expand working memory and access to long-term memory with training, and use of Protocol analysis as a rigorous methodology for eliciting verbal reports of thought sequences as a valid source of data on thinking. These books include Geoff Colvin's Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success. In The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle gratefully acknowledges the importance of Ericsson's research, agreeing with Colvin and Gladwell that greatness isn't born; rather, it is developed by a combination of luck (i.e. being "given" opportunities); ignition (i.e. self-motivation activated by one or more "primal cues"), what Coyle calls "deep practice"(i.e. 10, 000 hours of focused and disciplined repetition, requiring an energetic and passionate commitment), and master coaching provided by "talent whisperers" who "possess vast, deep frameworks of knowledge, which they apply to the steady, incremental work of growing skill circuits, which they ultimately don't control."

At one point is his narrative (Page 72), Coyle declares, "We are myelin beings." OK, but so what? When tapping into a neurological mechanism in which certain patterns of targeted practice builds skills, we create entry to "a zone of accelerated learning that, while it can't quite be bottled, can be accessed by those who know how. In short, they're cracked the talent code." What about myelin? According to Dr. George Bartzokis, professor of neurology at U.C.L.A., it is "the key to talking, reading, learning skills, being human.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I understand Dec 27 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I get it...a layman's version of a scienitic explanation as to how talent is developed to the levels that make the biggest impact. Now when I practice I understand what is happening to me by the process that is explained in this book..It's an excellent read that I think will make quite a difference for those who really want to develop their talent and that of others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Talent Code demystified April 26 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous book. The author's idea of cracking the talent code is "bang on" . Its easy to read and understand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific read! April 5 2012
Loved the book! It was a quick, easy read with useful, usable information that is directly applicable to my life. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in seeing how skill development really works, and how to develop skills in yourself and others. There is no quick-fix here - more of a "light at the end of a long dark tunnel" scenario, but there is definitely a light!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Talent Code March 19 2010
By Connie
This is a fabulous book that shows us that talent isn't born, but is a skill that can be learned with proper practice. Daniel Coyle did an excellent job of explaining this by telling stories of people that each of us could relate to.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for young parents! June 1 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Reading this book gave me strength as a parent. Knowing that I could influence my son's positive development by instilling in him that talent is nothing but a result of hard work and teaching him the basics of deep practice took away some of the uncertainty and fear of the unknown I experienced as a mother.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very well written, motivational and insightful. If you want to improve your skills in any area, start with reading this book.
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