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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

SPOTLIGHT: The Performance Cortex by Zach Schonbrun @zschonbrun @duttonbooks

The Performance Cortex
by Zach Schonbrun

Spotlighting this amazing book about how "new research shows that despite the emphasis we put on hard work and grit, most professional athletes are not elite solely because of the extra training hours or their particular body build".  This intriguing read explores athletic genius.

Publisher:  Dutton Books/Penguin Random House
Publish Date:  April 17, 2018
352 Pages
Genres:  Sports, Science

“A must-read for the cerebral sports fan…like Moneyball except nerdier. Much nerdier.”
--Sports Illustrated

Why couldn't Michael Jordan, master athlete that he was, crush a baseball? Why can't modern robotics come close to replicating the dexterity of a five-year-old? Why do good quarterbacks always seem to know where their receivers are?

On a quest to discover what actually drives human movement and its spectacular potential, journalist, sports writer, and fan Zach Schonbrun interviewed experts on motor control around the world. The trail begins with the groundbreaking work of two neuroscientists in Major League Baseball who are upending the traditional ways scouts evaluate the speed with which great players read a pitch. Across all sports, new theories and revolutionary technology are revealing how the brain's motor control system works in extraordinary talented athletes like Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, and Lionel Messi; as well as musical virtuosos, dancers, rock climbers, race-car drivers, and more.

Whether it is timing a 95 mph fastball or reaching for a coffee mug, movement requires a complex suite of computations that many take for granted--until they read The Performance Cortex. Zach Schonbrun ushers in a new way of thinking about the athletic gifts we marvel over and seek to develop in our own lives. It's not about the million-dollar arm anymore. It's about the million-dollar brain.

Buy the book HERE.

Zach Schonbrun has been a contributing writer for The New York Times since 2011, covering primarily sports and business. Six of his articles have appeared on the newspaper's front page. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in economics in 2009 and earned a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 2011. His work has also appeared in ESPN magazine, NewsdayThe Washington Post, Yahoo! Sports, VICE, and SB Nation Longform. In January 2015, he published a ten-thousand-word Amazon Kindle Single, One Great Shoe, which was selected as one of the best Kindle Singles of the year. He currently lives in New York City with his wife.


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