Daniel Coyle The Talent Code: Greatness Isn´t Born, It´s Grown: Here´s How. Bantam Book/May 2009, New York, New York

874 Words4 Pages
In 2006, Daniel Coyle began visiting tiny places around the world that produce mounts of talent, in his quest to determine how individuals achieve top performance in disciplines such as music, sports, and painting among others. These places are microcosm of larger patterns and forces at work in nurturing highly skilled performers. In “The Sweet Spot” the author examines an element that make certain places around the world produce “hotbeds” of talent. That element is “deep practice”. The key concept in deep practice is active or attentive learning. It consists in choosing a task, and within that task an attainable goal beyond your present abilities (pgs.14, 18). Then, break that task into its small component steps (p.13), practice them meticulously and arduously for hundreds of hours (p.13), with studied repetition and concentration, learning from errors and fixing them (p.13, 20) to hone your skills (13,19) until the smaller tasks click into a perfect move or song (p.13). In summary, Coyle is trying to demonstrate that what distinguishes talent hotbeds are a pattern of work and practice, whereby performers operate at the edge of their abilities, where progress is a series of small failures, repetition, correction, and intense concentration. To support his claim, Coyle argues that the only point in common among talent hotbeds are people operating at the edge of their abilities, making mistakes, correcting them, and perfecting their skills. As evidence the author introduces Brunio and Jenny. Their sex and age are different, male and female, 11 and 24, respectively. Bruno comes from Sao Paulo, Brazil, practices soccer in a small concrete playground, and aims at mastering the elastic, a Portuguese and Spanish word meaning able to re... ... middle of paper ... ...inuum of qualities that make people better at what they do? What about kids start practicing at a lower level and are as passionate about music or sports as kids who start at a higher level? Research by Duflos, Dupas, and Kremer shows that separating people by academic ability increases the performance of lower and higher achieving pupils because it allows teachers to present the material at the appropriate level. Otherwise, teachers have incentives to teach to the top of the distribution. Are the kids left behind because they did not practice as hard as the higher achieving students or because trainers catered to the latter? While Coyle´s method of collecting evidence is scientifically unsatisfactory, his argument that the chief determinant of talent is attentive practice, learning from errors, repeating, and so on is thought-provoking and merit careful attention.

More about Daniel Coyle The Talent Code: Greatness Isn´t Born, It´s Grown: Here´s How. Bantam Book/May 2009, New York, New York

Open Document