Following the advice of Terry Pettit, I try to read reasonably widely, or at least not just about volleyball or coaching. After volleyball / coaching / sport my favourite reading topic has become rock star auto/biographies, the latest of which is ‘Life‘ by Keith Richards. As Pettit wrote, everything comes back in one way or another to coaching. In this case Richards’ description of how he came play the guitar and then how he came to master the guitar and song writing. The process was almost exactly as described in books like ‘The Talent Code‘ and ‘Talent is Overrated‘ (review to follow, hopefully). He came to play the guitar through a favourite grandfather, who ignited his interest by making the guitar seem exclusive (one of the ignition methods listed in ‘The Talent Code’). To master the instrument he, together with his bandmates, literally sat around all day listening to their favourite records and then trying to work out how to play what they were hearing, a perfect example of effective/deliberate practice, although he didn’t report whether they hit the magical 10,000 hour mark. Then he and Mick Jagger went through similar process learning to write songs, writing constantly for about nine months until they wrote the first song they were prepared to even present to the band. I can only presume his other ‘talents’ were developed in the same way.
And so the lesson is, as always, the only way to become good at something is to practice and practice hard with feedback. It’s not brain surgery. Although it is how you learn brain surgery.