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10 tools for developing talents in multiple areas, from academics to arts to athletics, in all kids

Talent Zones

10 Tools to Help Kids Develop Their Talents


Many believe that talent is inherent—a person either has it or doesn’t. But research shows that a student’s environment is a critical determinant for developing talents. In Talent Zones, Dr. Lee Hancock redefines talent so that parents, teachers, and coaches of kids can create environments rich in opportunities for all kids to boost their confidence and for developing talents in multiple areas, from academics to arts to athletics.

Hancock presents ten evidence-based, developmentally appropriate strategies called Talent Development Zones (TDZs). These TDZs transform talent concepts and research into practical strategies adults can use to create environments for developing talents. Strategies include:
  • Provide opportunities for deep, deliberate practice
  • Develop and inspire creativity
  • Build “I can” kids
  • Help kids manage pressure 
For more than 20 years, the author has worked with athletes from youth to professional and with classroom teachers, students, and parents of awesome kids. He’s translated research and experience into approachable strategies for equitably developing talents in kids now and as they grow up.
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Paperback $34.99 86239 Paperback 86239 $34.99
ISBN: 978-1-63198-623-9
Audience: Grades K–8, youth program coordinators, coaches, counselors, parents and guardians, teachers and administrators
Trim Size: 7.25" x 9.25"
Page Count: 152
Praise for Talent Zones

“A thoroughly user-friendly combination of DIY instructional guide and how-to manual that will help educators and parents employ inclusive and effective education methods for getting the best out of a curriculum.”—Midwest Book Review

“A call to the culture to rethink our methods around developing youth, asking administrators, educators, parents, and coaches to reflect on misguided adult exclusionary tactics around nurturing talent and, in the process, awaken to new, more effective and compassionate ways of developing kids. Lee has clearly ‘honed his talent’ for summarizing complex information and presenting it in a down-to-earth, relatable way, making this book pragmatic, interesting, and insightful.”—Dr. John O’Brien, psychologist and former Ajax and US Men’s National Team player
“Lee Hancock starts with a meditation that flips the script: let’s line up ten kids and decide who among them is talented. Feel confident? What if the kid tapped as ‘without talent’ is your child? What then? What if we rewrote the playbook of selection and opportunity and teaching on behalf of the whole group of ten? This is a profound and important meditation on the thing we call ‘talent,’ which we assume we understand and are able to see.”—Doug Lemov, managing director of Uncommon School and author of Teach like a Champion and The Coach’s Guide to Teaching
Talent Zones is a book that could not come at a better time. In our world of competitive overparenting, it is so helpful to have a resource and guide to really get to the root of the definition of talent—where it lies, and how it can be cultivated, nurtured, and built in healthy ways. Hancock encourages readers to focus on the journey and not the destination, to embrace and view failure as an opportunity, and to help kids develop grit. Hancock has deeply researched for readers on a topic we all want to know more about: talent. What it is? How is it identified and sometimes mislabeled? What is the history of its meaning? This is a fascinating read for parents, coaches, educators, or anyone who works with kids.”—Cynthia C. Muchnick, author of six education-related books, co-author of The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness and Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World, and parent of Division 1 college athletes
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