Saturday, March 4, 2023

The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle

Coyle, Daniel. The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. New York, Bantam, 2009.

page 5:

Myelin's vital role is to wrap those nerve fibers the same way that rubber insulation wraps a copper wire, making the signal stronger and faster by preventing the electrical impulses from leaking out.

pages 14-15:

The conventional way to explain this kind of concentrated talent is to attribute it to a combination of genes and environment, a.k.a. nature and nurture. ... Add up all the factors and--viola!--you have the ideal factory for soccer greatness.

The problem is that "all the factors" encompasses too many things to be useful. We are left mystified and helpless.

page 18:

Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways--operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes--makes you smarter.

We need safe places to fail and learn.

page 24:

Link's trainer permitted pilots to practice more deeply, to stop, struggle, make errors, and learn from them.

page 27:

Futsal players touch the ball far more often than soccer players--six times more often per minute, according to a Liverpool University study.

page 33:

Skill is myelin insulation that wraps neural circuits and that grows according to certain signals. The story of skill and talent is the story of myelin.
page 104:
When long-term commitment combined with high levels of practice, skills skyrocketed.

page 114, on "ignition":

Losing a parent at a young age was not what gave them talent; rather, it was the primal cue--you are not safe--that, by tripping the ancient self-preserving evolutionary switch, provided energy for their efforts...

page 147, on KIPP students:

"Every single detail matters," Feinberg says. "Everything they do is connected to everything else around them."

page 153:

What's striking in the end, however, is not how hard KIPP students work, but rather how swiftly and completely they take on the KIPP identity that provides the fuel for that hard work.

Climate and culture.

page 188:

Patience is a word we use a lot to describe great teachers at work. But what I saw was not patience, exactly. It was more like probing , strategic impatience.