Recommended Reading: – The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle

The Little Book of Talent is just that. A little book, less than an hours read. But that’s not to say that it’s not useful.

littlebookoftalent

There are three sections to the book, each of which contains a number of short tips for improving your talent.

The first is around watching and then copying experts that you want to emulate. In serious detail. For example not just watching a game of football, but focusing on a player that you want be like at all times. Where, when and how does he move. Scrutinise his technique. What’s his attitude? Then a few further tips about avoiding getting stuck in a comfort zone.

Section two focuses on quality of practice. It’s about how to find a level where you’re significantly challenges but not to the point of simply failing repeatedly, and then putting in meaningful, unhurried (but not necessarily long), mindful practice. How to make sure that your time is used effectively. I always remember my childhood piano teacher telling me that “practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent”. That is very much in keeping with this principle of the book. Because practice makes permanent that means that we must be very careful to ensure that practice is of the highest quality, not simply a matter of repetition and quantity.

The third section is around actually doing the work. How to cultivate the habit of turning up and working at a high level again and again and again.

Sound simple? Much of it is but it’s useful to have a set of simple tips to refer back to and use as a reminder on a regular basis when trying to improve skills. Similar to one of the tips in the book which is around returning regularly to basic skills and making sure that they don’t get overlooked or forgotten and that they continue to form the core foundation of any practice.

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