What I’m Reading
Anything You Want – Derek Sivers
A short read on the the reflections and lessons learned from entrepreneur and founder of CD-Baby.com. In a time when independent musicians were locked out of the distribution chain by larger corporations, Sivers’ CD-Baby provided a platform for many artists to circumvent the traditional system and expose their work. Sivers built the company into a wildly successful venture, selling at its peak, and donating most of the $22 million to charity. Sivers is a renaissance man of sorts whose otherwise enviable lifestyle is grounded in simplistic minimalism. Visionary, undeniably talented and also extremely humble, I love Sivers approach to business, life and learning. Check out his excellent recent interview with Tim Ferris or visit his blog, particularly the helpful book notes section.
The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle
A highly valuable book for teachers, coaches or anyone that desires to understand and boost their own performance in any activity from sports, language learning or music. There’s been a multitude of books written in the last decade from Gladwell’s “Outliers”, Syed’s “Bounce”and Colvin’s “Talent is Overrated” (to name a few) investigating the nature vs nurture debate and the science of success and talent development. Researching global “success-hotbeds” and the methods employed by their respective “talent-whisperers”, this book separates performance from an innate ability to something that can be fostered and improved in a systematic fashion. There’s a lot of actionable material here that can make anyone involved in teaching or coaching improve their not only their students’ skills, but also their own skills as master-coaches.
What I’m Watching
End Of Watch (2012)
This movie escaped my viewing radar but is worth checking out if you haven’t seen it and are a fan of cop dramas. Shot “mocumentary” style, Gyllenhaal and Pena are cast perfectly as police officers partnered together on the perilous South Central beat. The chemistry between the two is palpable. Gritty, intense and amazingly authentic.
Ex Machina (2015)
While films like Blade Runner or Spielberg’s A.I. once seemed like distant futuristic fantasy, the accelerating rate of technology makes the subject of artificial intelligence and it’s ethical implications seem like an eerie, impending inevitability. An evocative and philosophical mind-bender that will have your mind throwing up questions to ponder for days after.
What I’m Listening To
While waiting for delivery of Randy Roach’s 3rd instalment of his brilliant, “Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors” series, I stumbled upon this podcast that interviewed him and also has a large archive on a range of topics and notable figures from iron-history. A real treat for physical-culturists and historians alike.
Quote Of The Week
“In the most literal sense, master coaches are the human delivery system for the signals that fuel and direct the growth of a given skill circuit, telling it with great clarity to fire here and not here. Coaching is a long, intimate conversation, a series of signals and responses that move toward a shared goal. A coach’s true skill consists not in some universally applicable wisdom that he can communicate to all, but rather in the supple ability to locate the sweet spot on the edge of each individual student’s ability, and to send the right signals to help the student reach toward the right goal, over and over.” – Excerpt From: Daniel Coyle. “The Talent Code.”
Pic Of The Week
Reeves helping build the next generation. It’s all about giving back and passing on what you’ve learned. I remember in my early years as an elementary school teacher in a simpler time of lax liability and less pressing schedules, bringing my benches, dumbbells and weights to class for the Grade 4 boys to knock around with in the morning before class started. Kids innately love the kind of physical challenge of the iron and the immediate feedback it brings.