Category: Reviews

Reviews of BJJ instructional books and DVDs (and sometimes gear).

The Weird Science of Pain and the Brain

Over a year ago, I set out to review Kelly Starrett‘s book Becoming a Supple Leopard and its claims to “improve your athletic performance, extend your athletic career, treat stiffness and achy joints, and prevent and rehabilitate injuries.”

This is not that review. (Sorry to disappoint.)

Starrett came to my attention as the CrossFit coach on Youtube with good videos about stretching against resistance bands, smashing your butt with lacrosse balls, and the importance of deep squatting like you’re pooping in the woods. Supple Leopard is Starrett’s attempt to collect up all these tips and tricks into a systematic framework. My opinion on how well he did that will come at a later date.

What has delayed my review so long is the twisting rabbit hole I fell down once I began researching the science (and pseudoscience) of sports performance, physical therapy and especially pain neurology. Every time I think I finally had a handle on the topic, I find another study, another expert, another methodology that makes sense but contradicts the others.

The purpose of this post is not to try to sort out what is right or wrong (as if I could) but to share the most interesting talks and articles on pain science I’ve run across. These will be referenced when the real review comes out, but I’d like to get this out first.

Studying the material below, you’ll learn how our understanding of pain is very different than how it was traditionally taught, especially the neurological aspects of chronic or persistent pain. These forms the basis for the main criticisms I’ve seen of Starrett’s methods, or more accurately, all physical therapy that focuses solely on the body’s mechanical and tissue problems without addressing the neurological, psychological, and even social/cultural aspects of pain.

If you find some of the pain science hard to swallow–like how bad MRI’s are at predicting if a patient reports pain, the effectiveness of “fake” knee surgery, and how the biggest predictor of a back injury causing chronic pain is not severity of tissue damage–I don’t blame you. It is weird. Any time I learn more about the brain–and the brain is the key to understanding pain–the weirder it seems to get.

For a good explanation of how the understanding of pain and its treatment have evolved–and how much of what we were taught as “common knowledge” is wrong–I highly recommend Pain Education by BBoyScience.com.

Here are many of the videos, articles and podcasts about the neurology and psychology of pain that I found most educational:

Body in mind – the role of the brain in chronic pain

The mystery of chronic pain

Pain, Is it all in your mind?

Lorimer Moseley on ABC Classic FM

The Science of Pain podcast by Scientific American

  1. How sports psychology can be used to treat sports injuries
  2. Biopsychosocial Pain : Pain and brain – the biopsychosocial method of chronic injury rehabilitation

Pain really is in the mind, but not in the way you think

A Revolution in the Understanding of Pain and Treatment of Chronic Pain

What should fitness professionals understand about pain and injury?

Overcome Pain

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3

The Science of Pain

Focused symposium: Pain Management

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First Complete Review of Mastering the Crucifix

Mastering the Crucifix launched on Monday, and the first full review has since been posted. It’s by a Sherdog poster you may know as GambleDub. He creates megathreads with dozens of GIFS and videos for specific positions like the Williams Guard. He backed the Indiegogo campaign and helped me with testing the product right before launch. Here is his review:

Where Is It?

First off if you want to purchase the Mastering the Crucifix instructional you can get it here, if you weren’t part of the Indiegogo fundraiser. You can also read the Introductions and browse the chapter and section list if you wish to find out what the Instructional covers.

http://artechokemedia.com/mastering-the-crucifix/

You can also view one of the chapters for free here…

http://artechokemedia.com/mastering-the-crucifix/crucifix-fundamentals/

What Is It?

For those who don’t know Artechoke Media (http://artechokemedia.com/) is a company ran by Author and BJJ purple belt Marshal Carper and BJJ black belt Matt “Aesopian” Kirtley. (http://www.aesopian.com/)

What Artechoke Media have done is put together a highly innovative new method of delivering and presenting grappling instructionals, combining text, animated GIF’s and video as a way to teach and demonstrate techniques. Marshal also released his own project through Artechoke before Mastering the Crucifix which was called 3D Jiu Jitsu, it is available free at http://artechokemedia.com/3dbjj/ and again is a great way to observe the unique format that Artechoke uses.

Who Am I?

While I was aware of what the crucifix was before this instructional, and that it was a position that interested me. I had never really experimented with it, or gone for it at the gym. To me the crucifix was like another language (let’s say French) while I could identify it if I saw it (or heard it) and I knew of a few techniques (or words) there is no way I would consider trying it live in rolling (or conversation) because I knew my technique (or pronunciation) would be sloppy as hell.

If the crucifix was like French then for me the reverse omoplata was like Klingon, I was aware somewhere out there people were doing it but I had no idea what it actually was. In other words while the crucifix was on my BJJ bucket list, outside of watching some competitions and Marcelo instructionals I would consider myself less than a novice, even more so when discussing the reverse omoplata.

Full disclosure I also did some media testing for Artechoke on this instructional. While I am not part of the company, nor was I paid (early access was enough incentive for me!) I feel like I should mention it. Also I’m currently nursing an injury and haven’t been training, so I have yet to try and implement any of the material in this instructional so far. It is also worth mentioning that at the time I was on holiday and Aesopian’s crucifix seminar was released as part of the perk I got when I initially purchased the instructional as part of the Indiegogo fundraiser, so I watched through this twice before starting on the Mastering the Crucifix instructional.

Production Quality

It is quite difficult to offer a comparison between other instructionals on the market because, at least to my knowledge, nothing else like this exists. The text, GIF’s and videos complement each other well. The text is easy to read and conveys all the important information clearly. The language is good enough that non-native English speakers shouldn’t have too much problem understanding it, but no so basic that the ideas of the technique get lost. It’s hard to explain but I think it works well at explaining the broader picture behind the technique and how it works alongside the other techniques. I like the anecdotes and inflections about the techniques that have been added in the text too.

The GIF’s are brilliant, I like how multiple angles are shown, and how Matt and Marshal also show troubleshooting (failing) aspects as well. This makes it a really handy feature as a skim through to show you how to do the technique, while reinforcing the critical aspects of the technique. I could see it being really handy in situations at the gym if I had it on my phone for quickly getting the important points ingrained before drilling/rolling etc. I also like how GIF’s focusing on different positions such as in the side ride section; the last frame has been extended to clearly show the emphasis on the final position.

The videos serve as the in depth how to of the instructional. The camera angles switch well between being zoomed in for explanations and detailed demonstrations, and zoom out nicely to see the overall technique. Matt sounds clear and I didn’t have any problems hearing or understanding what he was saying. The instruction is really good, Matt speaks well and doesn’t end up sounding monotonous causing me to zone out, even on techniques I had already known (I even learned some good tips!) plus the occasional mention of ninja skills with Bruce Lee sounds, traumatic wrestling experiences & nipple tweaking also does well to avoid the instruction fatigue I get with some instructors. What I found really good was how he would explain the purpose behind all of the movements and show what happens if you don’t do them, I think many instructors lack this. I think that will benefit beginners such as myself especially well. Matt’s videos and YouTube channel are also well worth a look at to further examine his teaching style. (https://www.youtube.com/user/Aesopian/videos)

Navigation throughout the instructional is great, I like how in the introduction of the chapters specific subsections have been linked to as they are discussed and the chapters along the side allow for quick and easy referral to specific techniques. Also there is a comment section at the bottom where according to Matt he will answer questions and film new material if neccesary.

In particular the GIF’s were a huge selling point to me. If you have seen some of my posts I often post GIF’s when discussing techniques. And I have seen the value of GIF’s for a long time, many people enjoy mind maps I have always preferred to GIF up the instructional videos I have and organise them into folders instead, so I can put them on my phone and take them to the gym to work on.

The format Matt and Marshal have gone for, has worked far better than I expected. You have the instructional videos, but chaptered like a book so there is no guessing times on DVD players or VLC etc. However unlike a book there are GIF’s and videos rather than comic book strips of techniques which are difficult to extract timing and subtle movements from. I really hope Artechoke have set a trend for the future of BJJ instructionals. I really believe they have set a new benchmark! Add that to the fact its online and I can access it anywhere from my phone, this is next level stuff!

Overall the production quality is top notch, from the camera zoom, to the angles of demonstration, audio quality, frame rate and size of the GIF’s and how they have been paused at the end to emphasize position when applicable.

Content

The initial welcome page gives some background to what Artechoke is about and Shouts out to the sponsors of the project.

The introduction details Matt’s story of how he came to train Jiu Jitsu.

The first chapter, chapter one relates to setting up the crucifix. Either from stand up off single leg attacks, or from turtle positions such as side ride and sprawl positions. The spin behind off the different guard passes was a particular highlight for me. I generally have a Darce heavy game when attacking the turtle, and I managed to pick up a bunch of really great tips from the side ride chapter. “Catching the crucifix in transition” is the last section and threads together many of the techniques previously demonstrated, showing how they can be chained together, I thought this was a nice way to demonstrate how the various techniques from the first chapter can relate to one another.

Chapter two (which you can read for free) involves crucifix fundamentals. Namely rolling from the kneeling crucifix to the traditional crucifix, positional control and maintenance, recountering escapes and submissions from both crucifix positions. Overall this was my favorite chapter. The techniques flow nicely together and you begin to see how the different techniques flow and complement each other, rather than just saying “hey look at this cool move you can do, ok here’s another cool move” Aesopian’s take on the crucifix comes across as a system rather than a couple of nice tricks you could add to your game. There is really no wasted add on techniques that I wouldn’t choose to do, every technique has its place and reason, Matt and Marshal have done a great job conveying this.

Chapter three, is the chapter focusing on the reverse omoplata. To be completely honest I was looking the least forward to this section, I didn’t really see the reverse omoplata as something I would do. However I have to say this instructional has sold me! I can understand how the reverse omoplata functions well as a new attack series that complements the crucifix perfectly, especially when the opponent hugs your leg with their trapped arm pointed towards their knees, or off the straight armbar. I don’t know whether or not, not knowing about the reverse omoplata made me pay more attention in regards to attempting to understand it. But I feel like up to this point in the instructional this is one of the positions I walked away with retaining the most info, and having that a-ha moment of it clicking together, again Matt & Marshal have done a great job of conveying why you should learn the reverse omoplata and how it is an integral part of Aesopian’s crucifix system. With that being said as the reverse omoplata has a reputation of being dangerous, I still walked away feeling uneasy about the safety aspect. In one of the sections Matt discusses it and how you can be controlled. But I’m not sure I would feel confident in applying the rolling variations without significant drilling with feedback. However there is a comment section which Matt will answer so I’m sure he would be happy to answer any questions regarding using the reverse omoplata safely

Chapter four details advanced crucifix set ups. Set ups from passing the guard, from bottom guard and an advanced turtle set ups are covered. This was the section I was really looking forward to, I expected some serious technique porn and it definitely delivered! I have to say though, to make an analogy of it I expected “supermodel” techniques, that is stuff that looks really good but would never work for me. But something strange happened, a couple of sections into this chapter. I began to see how the crucifix would be possible, as I began to spot the concepts and principles that make the crucifix possible to work even before Aesopian had really explained the technique in depth. His explanations had slowly ninja’d their way into my brain, and I think my mind set – especially when attacking the turtle is going to change significantly because of it. The techniques shown from the top of the guard reinforced how much I had slept on and underestimated the reverse omoplata. The crucifix from the sitting guard was my particular favorite from this section I can’t wait to try this one! The stuff from bottom guard was also really eye opening, and I would have never imagined being able to get crucifix’s from these positions.

Overall

As I said earlier I am a complete novice in regards to the crucifix and the reverse omoplata. The only other dedicated crucifix instructional I have seen was the section on Marcelo’s last dvd release, and while this may be blasphemy to the BJJ gods, I liked this one better! For the $35 I spent on the initial Indiegogo fundraiser I am more than happy, I would have paid more for the crucifix and reverse omoplata alone, there is a ton of information with no filler. Coupled with the seminar and the ebook version, I feel this was great value. As I said before the production values are very good, the unique format and the technical instruction all come together very well, also knowing Aesopian and Marshal both post on Sherdog and the instructional has a comment section, being able to ask questions is great. The chapters I enjoyed the most were 2-2 and 2-5 (I am a stickler for anything to do with positional control) I expect they will soon become burned into memory after the amount of times I refer back to them. With that being said I think the best part is that I don’t feel it’s a specific technique or section that really shines, it’s the overall product and how it flows together and each chapter compliments the other that provides a deeper conceptual understanding of the positions.

I feel like I have finished this instructional with a much deeper understanding of both the reverse omoplata and the crucifix. I really can’t wait to go and start drilling these techniques and try them during sparring. I know for sure I will be on the lookout from future releases from Artechoke. If you have any doubts check the free chapter (it has my personal favorite sections in it) and see for yourself! I can’t wait to drill, spar and add this to my game, I will keep you updated as to how it’s working out for me, hopefully I’m crucifying people like the Romans sometime in the not too distant future!

Buy Mastering the Crucifix now.

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Kauai Kimonos Ripstop Gi Review + The Value of Customer Service

Long time readers will recall my 2010 review of Kauai Kimonos’ 100% ripstop gi. It’s back for a second review to see how it’s held up after all these years. I also get to talking about the importance of good customer service and ask to hear your gear buying horror stories.

Watch “Kauai Kimonos Ripstop Gi Review + The Value of Customer Service” on Youtube

To answer a common question, I’m a tall and skinny 6’2″ and about 170 lbs. The A3 Kauai is kinda baggy on me but an OK length. If they made an A2 Tall-Slim, that would be my dream gi.

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Inverted Gear A2 Tall-Slim Review + Predictably Irrational Price Anchoring

Snag any good Black Friday BJJ deals? Post your new threads on Aesopian BJJ and brag to the world.

In today’s video we’re reviewing Inverted Gear’s A2 Tall-Slim gi, also known as “the gi with the cute upside down panda logo.” I also talk a bit about the silliness of gi pricing and the theory of price anchoring.

Watch “Inverted Guard A2 Slim-Tall Review” on Youtube

The book I mention is Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. It’s worth picking up a copy. Here’s Ariely’s TED Talk:

You Are Not So Smart also has a great article about anchoring. They describe Ariely’s auction experiment and other examples of the effect.

Kauai Kimonos review is up next!

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The Best (and Worst) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gis

Price to Quality Ratio

BJJGEAR.AESOPIAN.COM is down until the switch over to the new web host is complete. But for now, here’s what most of you came here for any: the gi rankings chart!

These rankings come for the 2011 BJJ Gi Survey and it’s 1500 responses. A new survey is in the planning stages 2014. Stay tuned!

Here is how to read the chart:

how-to-read

 

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Book Review: Submit Everyone by Dave Camarillo

10 Second Review:
Submit Everyone is a comprehensive guide to building a submission-driven game that showcases Camarillo’s talents as a grappler and a teacher. The quirky “military report” writing style may put you off (or you may not care), but the content and techniques are stellar. Camarillo’s material on the “kimura control” is worth the price alone. You can pick up a copy for around $20.

Full Review:
A month ago, Kevin Howell sent me a digital prerelease of Submit Everyone, his latest work with Dave Camarillo. Since then, I have been reading through it and trying out the material daily. Here’s my review.

The book, with its full title “Submit Everyone: The Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu Files: Top Secret Tactics to Become a Submission-Focused Fighter,” takes the “guerrilla” theme to the extreme. It’s laid out like a typewritten military dossier full of polaroid photos. Howell employs a military vocabulary, with jargon like SNAFU and AFTER-ACTION REPORT and labeling techniques SITREP 4.16. Here are sample sentences:

SUBJECT CAMARILLO is operating in the spider guard with his foot on the right biceps of CONTACT DARCY, MATTHEW.

All the guerrilla has to do is simply follow the POE and he automatically arrives in an easily attackable position for his preferred fire team.

The writing can be a little confusing and contrived, though sometimes the pseudo-military terms do work, like calling a “go to” position for offense and defense a “fire base or HUB.” Once you get used to it (or if it never bothers you), the lessons underneath are valuable.

Whatever complaints I have about the writing style, they’re easily overlooked in favor of the excellent techniques and high quality photography. Camarillo and Howell put a lot of thought and care into the creation of his book. (As I said, I read a PDF copy, but I’m sure the real book is well made—big pages, glossy paper, crisp photos—like all Victory Belt publications.)

To start the book, Camarillo does a good job showing what he sees as the difference between a “submission focused” grappler and one that worries about points.

First, he shows a traditional way of maintaining position as someone escapes side control by turning to their knees, where he circles around and keeps them trapped under turtle. (It’s actually a pretty good technique, but not the lesson he wants to teach.)

Next, he shows his “guerrilla” approach, where rather than worrying about just staying in the standard safe positions, he’s quickly gripping to attack with chokes and armbars as he circles to the back.

That is a simple example, but it does show Camarillo’s style of jiu-jitsu well. He’s always looking to finish the fight from every position. That’s not to say he throws good positional control out the window. He does show when you’re better off securing a position on a defensive opponent. But on the whole, he wants to end the fight now instead of playing it too safe or waiting to see what happens.

Camarillo goes out of his way to show the influences judo, sambo and wrestling have on his jiu-jitsu. He demonstrates moves that blend each art to demonstrate how the mix can surprise someone who is only familiar with one art. Camarillo’s dynamic style shows even through the slideshow nature of step-by-step photos. This book would have made a great video.

He also addresses the endless “gi vs no-gi” debate with my favorite answer: “Shut up and do both.” His full reasoning is a bit better than that, but you get the idea.

A book like this is in danger of becoming just another “mixed bag of submissions”, but Camarillo does a good job of avoiding this by using his techniques to illustrate underlying concepts, putting them into combinations, or grouping them by shared positions.

The first part of the book shows a wide variety of basic submissions: chokes, armbars, triangles, omoplatas, kimuras and more. (No leglocks are shown.) He offers these as the core submission that you’ll likely build your personal game around.

He moves on to showing simple submission combos and chains, like how armbars and triangles go together, how collar chokes can give you armbars, or how a kimura can always lead to an armbar. These combinations get progressively deeper as the book continues. He shows attacks from many positions, like closed and open guards, including his “octopus guard” (different than Eduardo Telles’), side control, knee-on-belly mount and rear mount, and more.

By the end of the book, Camarillo dedicates himself to showing the depth of his armbar game. He does this to illustrate how he wants you to pick a single submission and make it your best attack by learning every entry and solutions to any roadblocks. This includes a bunch of good armbar defense breaks, similar to what Eddie Bravo shows from his “spider web” position (though I prefer Camarillo’s.)

Throughout the book, Camarillo stresses the importance of continuously attacking and never giving up ground or trading “one for one.” This involves using sweeps to off-balance for easier submissions, jumping into submissions while passing guard, turning your escapes into attacks, defending takedowns with submissions, keeping on submissions even during scrambles, attacking through submission defenses, and more.

My personal favorite moves are the ones that highlight Camarillo’s use of the kimura grip in combination with armbars, chokes and taking the back. In his Back Attacks DVD, Ryan Hall credits Camarillo with teaching him this approach, and anyone who tries it will see why it deserves the praise. I’d pick the book up just for this alone.

So who should get this book? Is it too advanced for a white belt? By its nature, any instructional about submissions is geared toward higher belts. Many of Camarillo’s moves are combinations that take a good sense of timing and full commitment (not the hallmarks of beginners). This isn’t a surprise coming from a guy who’s famous for his flying submissions. I wouldn’t recommend this book to white or blue belts who aren’t confident in their basics, but a competitive blue belt or any higher belts will find a lot of valuable material.

If you already own a copy, please leave a comment below to let me know how you liked it. Happy new year!

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Book Review: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

The Talent Code by Daniel CoyleThe Talent Code by Daniel Coyle is a book that examines “hotbeds” of talent around the world to figure out how they create so many skilled people. The author investigates highly successful places like a Russian tennis camp, Brazilian soccer clubs, outperforming academic programs, the Z-Boys skateboarders, and a prestigious music school, among others.

To get a taste, read Coyle’s New York Times article “How to Grow a Super-Athlete,” which inspired the book.

Given the diversity of fields he studied around the globe (sports, music, academics, etc.), Coyle tries to find common threads that tie them together. How do unrelated places with no knowledge of each other come up with similar training methods? Why do good teachers and coaches share common traits? Coyle finds his answer in neuroscience and its new discoveries about myelin.

Here’s Coyle’s basic premise:

  • Performing a skill uses circuits of neurons in your brain.
  • A fatty coating of myelin builds up around our nerves’ axons, the long “wire” that connects them to other neurons.
  • Researchers ignored myelin for a long time as “just an insulator,” but now they understand that it strengthens and speeds up nerve signals. Today, it’s viewed as the neurological basis of acquired skills.
  • When a neuron fires, it attracts cells called a oligodendrocytes that add new layers of myelin. Repeated firings—like in practice—cause more myelin growth. More myelin means more skill.
  • If we know what causes myelin growth, we can focus on practices and teaching methods that promote its fastest growth.

In the Scientific American article “White Matter Matters,” myelin is explained like this:

  • White matter, long thought to be passive tissue, actively affects how the brain learns and dysfunctions.
  • Although gray matter (composed of neurons) does the brain’s thinking and calculating, white matter (composed of myelin-coated axons) controls the signals that neurons share, coordinating how well brain regions work together.

To get a visual of myelin’s role, check out this interactive graphic from Coyle’s website.

Coyle breaks the “talent code” into three key factors that he believes encourage myelin development:

  1. Deep practice — how to acquire skill by building the most myelin
  2. Ignition — what motivates deep practice and what he calls “primal cues”
  3. Master coaching — how teachers encourage deep practice and ignition

The myelin theory is appealing, because rather than chalking talent up to genetics, nationality, luck, fate, or magic, it lets you point at something that everyone has in their heads and say “That’s what does it.” Coyle doesn’t discount those other factors, but he is enamored with the theory that myelin underlies all of it. Throughout the book, he explains everything through a lens of myelin growth.

The trouble is that myelin research is relatively new (which Coyle admits), and myelin’s role in learning is not yet fully understood. Myelin is likely a large component to the neurological basis of learning and improving skills, but to state that “myelin equals skill” is an oversimplification that ignores other complex processes in the brain.

In trying to make talent and greatness attainable to anyone, Coyle leaves some holes in his theories unexplained. The most obvious is why two kids with the same passion could receive the same instruction but only one really achieves greatness. Coaches and teachers do value hard work over natural genius (a point Coyle makes), but they also know that each student has different aptitudes, and not everyone is destined to be great.

Coyle’s theories don’t make clear distinctions between acquiring a talent, popularity and commercially successful, or achieving true greatness. He points to the pop singing coach that produced Jessica Simpson as an example of a “master coach,” but her process is to copy other successful pop singers. This also ignores the business side of engineering a pop sensation through marketing and publicity.

In a later chapter about master coaches, Coyle tells the story of how the Oakland Raiders turned to retired college football coach Tom Martinez to help them decide between drafting JaMarcus Russell or Calvin Johnson. Martinez is portrayed as a sagely coach with a special knack for spotting talent (which he may be), but unfortunately he recommended Russell, who is now considered one of the biggest draft busts ever. The Raiders fought to get his $9.55 million salary back after dropping him, and Russell was arrested for drug possession. To be fair, Coyle couldn’t have known this would happen when he was writing the book.

Coyle tries to downplay the role of genetics in determining natural talent, but by basing skill development on a physiological process (myelin growth), he opens the door to genes influencing it. This is never addressed.

While The Talent Code isn’t overtly a self help book or a “get good quick” scheme, its marketing promises self-improvement with slogans like “Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown. Here’s how.” If you go into the book expecting step-by-step plans and detailed programs for how to learn, you’ll be disappointed.

To his credit, Coyle does stress that talent is a results of many hours of hard practice.  Using myelin development as his underlying reason, Coyle points to frustrating training as the most valuable kind because it triggers repeated and urgent neuron firings. He also cites the popular idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice (or about a decade) to achieve mastery. (This number is debatable too.)

Overall, The Talent Code is a pleasant work of pop psychology that highlights many interesting people and places, attempting to make sense of a complex topic in the same style as a Malcolm Gladwell book. It avoids becoming just another syrupy self-help book by stressing the importance of hard work and dedication, but it doesn’t bring too many new insights to the table. Its message can be summarized like this: “Get someone passionate about something and make them practice for years under an experienced coach and they’ll get good (unless they don’t.)”

Here’s a quick list of “take away lessons” you could get from it:

  • The elite got that way through many thousands of hours of diligent practice.
  • High repetition is necessary to gain competency in a skill.
  • You learn the most by pushing yourself to the edge of your ability and paying attention to your mistakes so you can fix them.
  • The learning process is often frustrating and you can’t always tell when you’re improving until you’re put to the test later.
  • A good curriculum “chunks” skills together so they are easier to learn, and the chunks get bigger as the student becomes able to handle the earlier ones.
  • Students should spend a lot of time watching masters practice and perform.
  • Coaches and teachers value hard work and persistence over “natural genius.”
  • A good coach establishes an emotional connection with his students so he know when to be nice and when to push hard.
  • You can focus on specific skills by doing drills that isolate it for repeated trial-and-error.
  • Those who achieve greatness often started with a humble instructor who fostered a love for the subject.
  • Those who see themselves doing an activity for a long time find more time to practice (and therefore get better) than those who only set short term goals.
  • Kids who feel talent can be gained through hard work have better problem-solving skills and more determination than kids who believe their intelligence or skill is inherited and unchangeable.
  • “Having fun” isn’t the primary goal of people who want to get good, though they find what they do pleasurable on some level (or at least necessary) and push through all the difficulties and challenges.
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