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Bounce: How Champions are Made Paperback – 29 Apr 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 583 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition
Paperback, 29 Apr 2010
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000735052X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007350520
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 583 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer .' Owen Slot - The Times

'A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.' Michael Atherton - former England cricket captain

'I love this book. It is a must read if you have ever wondered what sets the super achievers and the rest of us apart, in any field not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was 15.' Gabby Logan - BBC TV Presenter

'A cutting edge dissection – and ultimate destruction – of the myth of innate talent in the pursuit of excellence. Syed synthesises his evidence with the precision of an academic, writes with the fluidity of a journalist and persuades with the drive of a sportsman. Read this book now – before it’s too late.' Mark Thomas - Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London

'Matthew Syed was an exceptionally fine table tennis player and he is an exceptionally fine sports writer.... In the end this book is about the human brain. It is funny and tragic, learned and urgent - the story of the extraordinary capacities we all possess, the irrationalities that drive us to succeed or fail, the opportunities we are given or miss out on.' Howard Jacobson – award-winning author of Kalooki Nights

'Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke... challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.' Jonathan Edwards - Triple Jump World Record Holder and Olympic gold medallist

'Compelling and, at times, exhilarating - Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond' Michael Sherwood - Chief Executive Goldman Sachs International

'When a book includes subject classifications as diverse as sport and outdoor recreation, Europe, mathematics and popular science, you know you’re not in for a run-of-the mill sports book. Indeed, it’s so wide-ranging that a chapter discussing motivation assesses strategies for understanding educational achievement, morphs onto an examination of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy and ends with an analysis of Enron’s hiring and promotion strategies (yes, really)... It’s impressively researched, forcefully argued and... extraordinarily interesting and thought-provoking.’ The Bookseller

'Everything Matthew Syed writes is worth reading' Lynne Truss, best-selling author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves

'Cogent discussions of the neuroscience of competition, including the placebo effect of irrational optimism, self-doubt, and superstitions, all lend credence to a compelling narrative; readers who gobbled up Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational will flock to this one.' Publishers Weekly


From the Back Cover


Just what does it take to become the very best? Matthew Syed uncovers the "hidden logic of success" behind the careers of world-beaters from David Beckham and Serena Williams to Mozart and Picasso.

Looking at the latest in sports science, neuroscience, psychology and economics, Matthew reveals the idea of God-given talent to be a myth, and that the key to achieving greatness lies in hard work, and the right attitude and training.

Along the way Matthew explains how memory and inspiration prime our brains for success, why top sportsmen are able to see and perceive faster than the rest of us, and how genes are starting to matter - but not in the way you might think.

In Bounce, Matthew draws a new map of the road to the top.

Winners aren't born, they are made.

Talent is something you build yourself.

Also in the book:

- why one small street in Reading - Matthew's own - produced more table-tennis champions that the rest of Britain put together

- why one region of Kenya has produced so many of the world's great distance runners

- how a group of pigeons showed the role that superstition can play in success.

- how a Hungarian educationalist turned his daughters into three of the best chess players the world has ever seen.

- why Matthew "choked" at the Sydney Olympics, and how the greatest sportsmen are able to avoid this.
Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed is three-time Commonwealth table-tennis champion, an award-winning sports and comment writer for the Times, and has a prize-winning double-first class degree from Oxford University.

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