Skill: The Book

Skill – of every sort – is an integral part of who we are and how we navigate the world. It feeds our success and fuels our failures (which is a good thing). However, too few of us embrace the notion that acquiring skill is a skill in itself.

How we develop skill; the effort we put in; our attitudes even, as we work to improve, requires specific attributes of its own. In his book, SKILL, Christopher Ahmad, MD, provides 40 clear and compelling tips on how to achieve mastery – regardless of your pursuits.

Dr. Ahmad is the Head Team Physician for the New York Yankees, a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, as well as an internationally recognized Orthopaedic Surgeon – he is also an aspiring chess grandmaster, skier, chef, oenophile, soccer player, coach, friend, husband, son, brother and parent.  To excel in each of these endeavors, he has dedicated his life to skill acquisition – from the hard skills required to save a multimillionaire athlete’s career to the soft skills of parenting. Dr. Ahmad consciously strives to be better at everything at all times. He will tell you he is not naturally gifted; that practice, patience and persistence have led him through this journey.

Based on the life lessons he absorbed reading NY Times best-selling author Daniel Coyle’s The Talent Code, Chris fashioned his own take on how to achieve excellence by focusing on the best ways to acquire and master skills as much as the skills themselves.


SKILL is written for those who want to become the best – no matter what they’re trying to achieve. This book provides guidelines – via 40 practical tips and processes – to fulfill anyone’s natural ability. It’s about becoming the master of your own fate, your own skills and your own success.

Greatness is not a natural gift, according to Dr. Christopher S. Ahmad, one of the top surgeons in the world for orthopaedic surgery, and head team physician for the New York Yankees. It is something achieved through hard work and diligent practice – not from dreaming, but from working. Commit to becoming the best: work hard, have a positive mindset, and practice, practice, practice.

Master chef, great soccer player, brilliant musician, doctor, lawyer, business executive: for anyone who aspires to excellence, reading this book will give you the tools to take your natural abilities to the next level.

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Skill Intro

What is Skill?


Feedback Meta Cognition

Self Reflection

Advance Praise for SKILL:

"The central core of this bo ok comprises 40 principles that can allow the reader to reach his/her greatest potential!"

Dr. James Andrews

Co-Founder, American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI)

“As a pediatric spine surgeon, I can attest to the universal power and truth contained in these pages which should be a must-read for any physicians, and really anyone looking to perfect their craft. In Skill, Ahmad artfully dissects the critical underpinnings of Mastery. This short book will make you more thoughtful and more skilled—whether your goal is surgical excellence, athletics or simply self understanding.”

Dr. Michael Vitale

Ana Lucia Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Columbia University Medical Center

“Everyone is interested in learning how to improve their skill level and how a leading surgeon with engineering training approaches skill development. The short chapters of SKILL are fun and engaging. They make you want to read to the next chapter. The summary statements are deft and memorable."

Reinhold Schmieding

Founder & President, Arthrex Inc.

“A groundbreaking, essential read that gives us a new way to think about peak performance from an elite surgeon.”

Daniel Coyle

NY Times best-selling author

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