Book Review – The Talent Code (Daniel Coyle)
Have you ever wondered how you could develop faster as a musician? As a tennis player? A golfer? Even a swing dancer? Daniel Coyle’s work, The Talent Code, opens the door to a new world of concentrated skill development through the mystery and miracle of myelin. Coyle provides the medical and physiological argument for the development of skill through the growth and retention of myelin in the human brain.
Myelin is the neural version of high voltage insulation that guides electronic impulses through the neural system. As neural circuits are discovered and grown, myelin begins to insulate the circuits themselves and protects against neural atrophy. As more repetition and intentionality is focused on specific neural circuits, such as the neural impulses to produce the motor skill of playing a harmonic scale, the speed and accuracy in which the muscles are able to repeat the action is quickly perfected.
At the first glance this would begin to bore the average reader if it weren’t for Coyle’s introduction where the acute development of myelin has transformed the practice routines and success of athletes, musicians, and other motor-skilled professionals. In his research Coyle traveled to obscure tennis schools, underwhelming soccer academies, and hole-in-the-wall music studios where incredible talent has been discovered, only to face the possibility that talent may be grown rather than simply being innate.
Coyle provides basic concepts and principles for readers to follow that will dramatically affect their view of practice, repetition, and the variance of speed in which both are approached. The Talent Code is an excellent resource for anyone from success coaches to the average golfer who wants to improve their game. If you’re willing to put in the time, effort, and concentration of deep practice as outlined by Coyle, then your skill will see significant results.