While not a book written specifically for or about golf, I found the information and evidence in this book invaluable as a coach. It certainly is a book that all golf coaches and aspiring golfers should read. With the book, author Matthew Syed challenges the idea that sports stars are "born with it" and provides evidence that they all achieved there success through hard work and dedication. From Mozart to Federer to Woods; the evidence suggests that their success has been attained the hard way - they earned it.
The book blows up the idea that talent gets people to the top. Instead it shows that through a combination of opportunities (in the right place at the right time), hard work and dedication anybody can achieve their dreams. I liked the idea of the “ten thousand hour rule” — the minimum time necessary for expertise in any complex task or sport. Syed also gave a great analogy about the "tip of the iceberg" - whereby people who see a great young athlete and attribute their success to purely God-given talent (the tip of the iceberg) versus looking at the body of work and dedication (the iceberg below the water) that has gone into supporting their performance.
A few quotes from the book:
There is an innate capacity for our bodies to bring into being, to the best of their ability, the optimistic scenarios in which we fervently believe.
Anne Harrington, Harvard University
...in order to become the greatest player of all time you have to embrace failure.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
Samuel Beckett, Worstword Ho
...the path to excellence is inordinately lenghty, requiring a minimum of ten thousand hours of lung busting effort to get to the summit.
The talent myth robs individuals of the incentive to transform themselves through effort....
...purposeful practice can enable countless individuals to realize untapped potential.
A highly recommended read. So good in fact that I am paying my sons to read portions of it. Now get to work!