What qualities do the world’s great performers possess that the rest of us don’t?
It’s a great question, and our usual instinct is to answer the question by listing characteristics, as if they were ingredients for baking a cake. (Start with passion. Stir in determination and great coaching; cook 10,000 hours and Voila!)
Unfortunately, this is exactly …
Continue reading “Four Life Lessons from Jerry Seinfeld, Master Craftsman”
Some people are highly organized about the holidays. They make precise lists. They do careful research. They comparison shop. They are able to confidently click “ground shipping” as an option.
This list is for the rest of us. The ones who, like me, have waited until the last minute, and who right now are quietly scrambling …
Continue reading “Last-Minute Holiday Gift-o-Rama”
Say hello to Footbonaut, a new machine for training soccer players. (Click the video to see it in action.)
It’s a space-age beauty: built for the top German professional team Borussia Dortmund, it feeds balls from eight angles, and has 72 colored panels that light up to make targets. Reacting to a series of beeps and …
Continue reading “Can This Machine Build a Better Athlete?”
Kids love to announce that they’re not good at something. They usually do it just after they try something new and challenging, and they say it with finality, as if issuing a verdict.
I’m not good at math!” or, “I’m not good at volleyball.”
At that moment, our normal parental/teacher/coach instinct is to fix the situation. To …
Continue reading “The Most Powerful 3-Letter Word a Parent or Teacher Can Use”
So a bunch of New Zealand animal trainers decided to fulfill the longstanding national dream of teaching a dog how to drive a car.
Then, over seven weeks, using an intensive and tedious practice program based on chunked learning and repetition, they actually did. (The Mini Cooper is a nice touch.) If you want more, here’s …
Continue reading “Yep, It’s a Video of Some Dogs Learning to Drive a Car”
Having a prodigy in the family is usually thought of as a divine blessing. Teachers and coaches compete over them. Other kids envy them. Parents look at them wishfully, thinking: If only my kid could be like that.
From a distance, it looks simple: you turn the kid loose and watch their talent rocket them through …
Continue reading “Why You Should Be Relieved Your Kids Are Not Prodigies”
The other day my ten-year-old daughter Zoe had a great violin lesson. The setup was simple: there were two other kids, David and Lily, and one teacher. Partway through, the teacher handed out clipboards and explained the system: one kid would play, the other two would take notes and offer suggestions. Then they’d switch.
The atmosphere …
Continue reading “Peer Turbo Power: How Clipboards Can Accelerate Learning”