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Brubaker     1   Jonathan Brubaker Professor Denise Comer English Composition I 31 March 2013

Coyle, Daniel (2009). The Talent Code. (Chapter 1: ‘The Sweet Spot’). Bantam Books: New York.

The analysis of talent has usually focused on innate factors. It is something a person has or doesn't have. Unfortunately, this makes a pool of talent small and hard to find. What if talent was something that could be taught and not just possessed? This would have far reaching effects. The idea that talent is something that can be developed is at the center of chapter one of Daniel Coyle's book The Talent Code. In particular, the author explores the relationship between "deep practice" and the development of talent. People who develop talent in this fashion are "purposely operating at the edges of their ability, so they will screw up [and] somehow screwing up is making them better" (5). In other words, making mistakes can actually increase talent. In order to provide evidence for his claims, Coyle seeks to isolate individual examples of deep practice so that he generalize them into a larger message about talent. His first example is the way soccer talent is developed in Brazil. The author quickly summarizes the high level of talent, accomplishment, and skill of Brazilian soccer. Coyle then provides the conventional explanation of Brazil's greatness: poverty,

" The change occurred with the advent futsal. Next Coyle turns to the invention of the Link training machine invented by Edwin Link. futsal compresses the game of soccer in such a way that allows players more chances to operate at the edges of their ability. According to Coyle. a smaller court and fewer players. Unfortunately. Coyle argues that Brazil did not suddenly experience some fluke explosion of talent. But the author questions these assumptions by asking why Brazil didn't begin to dominate soccer until the 1950s." His training machine simplified flying down to its basics and allowed pilots an opportunity to practice in actual flying conditions and . He describes the lackluster training regimen designed to train Air Corps pilots. but instead began to practice soccer in a way that fits his explanation of "deep practice.Brubaker     2   location. Coyle argues that in futsal soccer is compressed to its essential skills. heavier ball. The game uses a smaller. and then learn from them. This means that the players get more touches on the ball and have to maneuver in tight quarters. Therefore he concludes that the “deep practice” at the heart of futsal is the primary reason for Brazil’s dominance in competitive soccer over the past fifty years. many pilots were crashing in inclement weather and those who flew successfully were assumed to possess an innate flying talent. According to Coyle. the ball is less flexible and therefore controlled passing and dribbling become key. a training program that focused on ground school and a ride along. and desire. Edwin Link came along and developed a pilot training machine that improved the performance of pilots and worked along the lines of "deep practice. He then goes on to demonstrate that all of Brazil's recent soccer greats played futsal. In addition. experience mistakes.

Through Link's training machine. The author presents Bjork's theory that real encounters are better than observations. Coyle's theories about talent are built upon the work of Robert Bjork. a Russian psychologist. For example. what are the essential components of good teaching that can be slowed down and practiced?   . In addition.Brubaker     3   make mistakes. The ZPD is just beyond the current ability of a student and it is the area where learning would occur. the brain builds " scaffolds" when it encounters difficulties and overcomes them. who suggests that there is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) where learning occurs. The first is whether there is anything novel in Coyle's analysis. As an educator. I was exposed to the thought of Lev Vygotsky. Some skills cannot be compressed into essential components and slowed down. Coyle quotes Bjork who advises people to "choose a goal just beyond your present abilities" which Bjork calls "the sweet spot. How does Coyle's ideas relate to other theories of learning like Vygotsky's? The second question is the scope of the application. The author's analysis of talent and the need to find "the sweet spot" to enable "deep practice" raises a couple of questions." Finding such a spot allows a person to make mistakes and actually improve their skills. pilots were able to learn how to fly better. an idea that can seem counterintuitive.