My friend Jamie picked this for our book club and I thought it was good enough to recommend to my boss for our next department read.
Coyle spent a whole bunch of time studying what he called “hotbeds of talent”. Random places that started churning out the best-of-the-best in one field or another and tried to figure out how it happened. South Korea suddenly dominating the LPGA, charter schools in inner cities sending 100% of the students to college, that kind of thing.
Coyle’s theory is that almost none of it is what we would call Natural Born Talent and almost all of it is practice. He starts by defining “deep practice”, when you are in the zone. Of course, this requires motivation which begins with “ignition”. Finally there is Master Coaching.
There are plenty of great stories, although it is admittedly sports-heavy. There is also a bunch on the neuroscience which I had to slog through, but if you can get past that it is really very good.