The Talent Code, Greatness isn't Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.
Daniel Coyle, Bantam Dell 2009
This is a highly recommended book for all coaches. The book deals with the development of talent through analyzing talent “hotbeds”. Coyle provides his theory through stories of athletes and musicians. The book is broken into three parts each concerning an element for developing talent.
The book begins by outlining the neurological reasons for the benefits of what Coyle calls “Deep Practice”. The science is easy to understand and has serious implications for how we view the learning process.
The second part of the book deals with “Ignition” One does not become successful without the highest levels of commitment. Where does the passion come from to spend the thousands of hours required to master a skill?
The last third of the book deals with “Master Coaching”. Coyle delves into the practices of highly effective coaches and teachers.
There is a web-site that has a blog and further articles along the same lines.
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
John Medina, Pear Press 2008
This is a very well written book covering aspects such as the effects of exercise, stress, and sleep on our brain function. It also describes the development of memory and what is required to truly learn something. There are excellent ideas here that can be applied to teaching our athletes and making sure that they are high functioning people at the pool and at school. The book is an easy read and has key concepts reviewed at the end of each chapter.
There is also an excellent interactive web-site.