Another vote for The Talent Code from me (thanks Razie for posting about it in the PSIA skills thread)
I found it almost unputdownable
Daniel Coyle makes a great case for building skills from deep practice, and links into examples from soccer, baseball, music teaching and education. I'm sure that this is relevant for anyone with an interest in coaching or developing skills
Two quotes from the book:
"Deep practice is not simply about struggling: it's about seeking out a particular struggle, which involves a cycle of distinct actions:
1. Pick a target
2 Reach for it
3 Evaluate the gap
4 Return to step 1"
"Of all the images that communicate the sensation of deep practice, my favourite is the staggering babies...a study to see what made babies improve at walking. The key factor wasn't height or weight or age or brain development or any innate trait but rather (surprise!) the amount of time they spent firing their circuits, learning to walk. This paints a vivid picture of what deep practice looks like. It's the feeling of being a staggering baby, of intently lurching towards a goal and toppling over. It's a wobbly, discomfiting sensation that any person would sensibly seek to avoid. Yet the longer the babies remained in that state - the more wiliing they were to endure it, and to permit themselves to fail - the more myelin they built, and the more skill they earned. The staggering babies embody the deepest truth about deep practice: to get good, it's helpful to be willing, or even enthusiastic, about being bad. Baby steps are the royal road to skill"