Anyone in a leadership role in the gym should consider reading this book. The cover of the book sums up what the topic very well: “Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown. Here’s how.” I hear people talk about Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers regularly in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. People like to talk about the 10,000 hours of practice is what it takes to truly master something. This book definitely challenges the 10,000 hours of practice that is discussed in Outliers. Consider the athlete that quickly rises to top in a short amount of time (BJ Penn, got his black belt in a little over 3 years). The Talent Code has nothing to say about BJJ, but the topics discussed will transfer over to BJJ coaches easily.
This book focuses on “talent hotbeds”, places that produce a disproportional amount of talent. An example of a talent hotbed in the book is a rundown tennis club in Russia. This particular club is in a freezing climate and only has one indoor tennis court. This tennis club has produced more top 20 women players than the entire United States. How can this happen? What is going on there? Daniel Coyle travels to this small tennis club and shares what he finds. He travels to many talent hotbeds, and discovers what they have in common.
Talent Code Video- It does a great job explaining what is in the book
Drilling is a big concept in BJJ. Coyle discusses how it actually changes our brains to function differently (faster and with less effort). You need to be drilling with different levels of resistance. During drilling you should occasionally stop and think about what is happening when you fail, then try again. Any time you are rolling and you get tapped out, take a few seconds to think about what happened leading up to the submission.
This book also gives a lot of advice to coaches about how to explain things. It will help you communicate more effectively and give your students a better way to remember the techniques.
There are many different aspects of this book that translate into any sport. It will get a second read from me, and I am sure that I will learn even more the second time around. I recommend this book to any coach of any sport.
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