Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice Paperback – 28 Apr 2011
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‘A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.' Michael Atherton, former England cricket captain
'A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer.' Owen Slot, The Times
'I love this book. 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 fifteen.' Gabby Logan, BBC presenter and former international gymnast
'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
'Cutting-edge analysis and devastatingly argued.' Mark Thomas, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London
'Compelling and, at times, exhilarating – Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond.' Michael Sherwood, Chief Executive, Goldman Sachs International
'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
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Top Customer Reviews
This may sound radical, but the evidence is compelling. The author shows how child prodigies are not quite what they seem and have actually clocked up quantities of practice that few of us achieve in our whole lives. He also shows how the extraordinary skills of elite athletes and other top performers in the arts and business can be explained by mental representations that all of us can acquire with practice.
When Roger Federer returns a fast serve he is not demonstrating faster reactions, but quicker anticipation. He is able to maker sharper and more accurate inferences about where the ball is going to go via the movement patterns of his opponent, so that he is in position almost before the ball has been hit. First class cricketers have figured out whether to play off the front or back foot 100 miliseconds before the ball has been bowled. The author demonstrates that these skills are not innate, but learned - and learnable by all of us.
Later chapters explore the importance of mindset and how parents and teachers can inculcate the "growth" mindset by praising effort rather than talent - this is of huge importance not merely to sport, but to education and life. There are also fascinating discussions of self belief, superstition, choking and drug taking. The final chapter provides a discussion of the reason for racial patterns of success and failure in sport and the wider economy.
It is absorbing, vividly readable and thought provoking throughout.
Bounce is superb at demolishing the ideas of "innate talents" and "genetic endowments and "racial characteristics." Syed points out the combinations of factors that come together to allow top performance to emerge. It is usually some combination of focused and genuine enthusiasm, opportunity, certain local quirks; disciplined practice and well trained experience. The initial enthusiasm for a task has to come from within- which allows the learner to put up with the knocks and setbacks on the way to becoming good at something. He explains very well why parents can try pushing their children into something...but probably won't get great results by so doing. The proverb about leading the horse to water, but not being able to get them to drink comes to mind. This leaves open an obvious niche for a book that helps parents to recognise and go with their child's talents and abilities.
The idea of disciplined practice being necessary to get good at something is stressed throughout the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
bought for a sporty relative -he said it was a bit dated and things have moved on a bitPublished 8 days ago by CC
A great read and a fascinating insight into the myth of talent over purposeful practise. Definitely one of the top books I've read.Published 12 days ago by Paul Mc Nulty
A really well constructed and well written book that spells it out: success in sport (and, by extension, almost any facet of human endeavour) is down to chance and, once you get... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Chris H
Interesting. It challenges some of the accepted beliefs about talent. I didn't agree with all of it however.Published 17 days ago by King of No Man's Land
A very detailed insight into some interesting perceptions Alan success . I must read for people striving for success .Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
A fascinating and inspiring book - everyone should read this to challenge their preconceptions about talent and ability.Published 19 days ago by Eeefa
This book is a good reads which dispels and challenges myths and assumptions about talent that have built up overtime. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Steve Brocklebank
It's all about quality hours of practice.
Read it and then you'll always have an excuse when you get beaten at sport.