So many people believe that talent is something you are born with and not something you can create. The book “The Talent Code,” by Daniel Coyle dispels those myths. His research into talent and how it is grown provides insight into a critical substance called myelin, which helps develop everything we do from talking, walking, feeling, and thinking.
Myelin is the insulation that wraps around our nerve fibers and helps them work faster, stronger, and more efficiently. Every time you practice your golf swing or your sales presentation you are creating myelin that is wrapping itself around your nerves to help create stronger more powerful circuits. This also applies to the types of thoughts we choose to think. The more focused and deeper the practice is the more myelin wraps itself around these connections.
This little nugget of information alone is worth 10 times the price of this book. Knowing that every time I type a word in this post the myelin is getting making the connection between my brain and my fingers faster and faster.
The more a circuit is fired the more myelin it will receive
Myelin is a living substance that wraps itself around our nerves and creates a faster better working circuit. The more the circuit is fired the more myelin wraps around it. This goes for playing the guitar, swinging your golf club, and even your habits. In order to break old habits, you must establish new habits. Focused repetition is key and necessary for myelin to be wrapped around the nerve fibers.
Daniel refers to three key elements that will allow you to develop your talents.
Deep practice is different than regular practice. It means reaching outside your comfort zone and struggling a little. Chunking parts of the skill up into manageable pieces. Maybe even slowing it down. Always working to do the skill as mistake-free as possible. And doing it A LOT! That is why it is necessary for the person to have a passion for the sport or certain skill they are trying to develop.
Daniel visited various talent hotbeds for different sports or skills and found that success breeds success. That usually a break though performance by an individual sparked an ignition that would create the passion and motivation necessary for deep practice. For South Korea and the amount of South Koreans in the LPGA it was the day Se Ri Pak won the LPGA Championship. For Russian tennis players is was when a teenager named Ann Kournikova reached the Wimbledon semifinals. Both of the events were the ignition that were followed by explosion of talent.
Daniel refers to these people as the “Talent Whisperers.” These are coaches that take people to extraordinary heights and might be different than what one might expect. Master coaches have developed their own set of skills and talent that help produce talent in other people. Every time a coach coaches, they are wrapping the nerves associated with those thoughts with more myelin. That is where experience and the drive to be better, help so much in coaching.
During his research, he found that there are four virtues that are common in many master Coaches.
- The Matrix – All the experience that a coach has had throughout their lifetime creates this matrix
- Perceptiveness – They are always gaining information about the athlete or student. Watching carefully and reacting appropriately
- The GPS Reflex – They give directions in short simple cues that can immediately be followed. He described this as if someone is giving directions: turn left, turn right, go straight. etc.
- Theatrical Honesty – They learn to connect with their athletes in a way that gets through to them. Whether it means being tough or easy going. Load or soft. With high energy or with low energy.
The Talent Code is an excellent read. I can’t say enough about this book. It has changed the way I look at everything. From the way I write my blog posts, to the way I swing my golf club when I’m playing and more importantly when I’m warming up. I have much more intent and focus on everything I’m doing that I want to be better at.
You don’t need to find your talent. You need to grow your talent! This book will give you clear advice on how talent is developed and manicured. It takes time, hard work, and passion.
I finished this book last week and went out for a round of golf with a friend of mine. This round of golf was the third time I have played or even touched a club since Thanksgiving. I didn’t expect much, but when I went to the driving range, I thought about the lessons in this book. By swinging slowly really focusing on the feel of the club, the angle my club head was facing
After playing 18 holes, I had shot
How could a book like this help you? Write in the comments section below.