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Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success | [Matthew Syed]

Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

Few things in life are more satisfying than beating a rival. We love to win and hate to lose, whether it's on the playing field or at the ballot box, in the office or in the classroom. In this bold new look at human behavior, award-winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed explores the truth about our competitive nature: why we win, why we don't, and how we really play the game of life.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Best New Writer category of the British Sports Book Awards 2011.

Why have all the sprinters who have run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds been black?

What's one thing Mozart, Venus Williams, and Michelangelo have in common?

Is it good to praise a child's intelligence?

Why are baseball players so superstitious?

Few things in life are more satisfying than beating a rival. We love to win and hate to lose, whether it's on the playing field or at the ballot box, in the office or in the classroom. In this bold new look at human behavior, award-winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed explores the truth about our competitive nature: why we win, why we don't, and how we really play the game of life.

Bounce reveals how competition - the most vivid, primal, and dramatic of human pursuits - provides vital insight into many of the most controversial issues of our time, from biology and economics, to psychology and culture, to genetics and race, to sports and politics.

Backed by cutting-edge scientific research and case studies, Syed shatters long-held myths about meritocracy, talent, performance, and the mind. He explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work, and will. From sex to math, from the motivation of children to the culture of big business, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of the world.

©2010 Matthew Syed (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (146 )
5 star
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4.4 (50 )
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4.3 (50 )
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Performance
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  •  
    judith canary wharf, United Kingdom 06/09/2012
    judith canary wharf, United Kingdom 06/09/2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    79
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    3
    Overall
    "Bad start and end - good middle"

    As I started listening I thought the book was a disaster because it seemed to be a rehash of Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. But then it offered rather more compelling evidence that Gladwell - such as the huge proportion of top British table tennis players coming out of Reading (one small town) and interesting take on the placebo effect (including religion) in sport. The end was a disappointing treatment of genetic influences in sporting prowess (Syed is keen to deny their existence completely), but he seemed to have forgotten that in just the previous chapter he was tentatively arguing for allowing athletes (and other humans) to experiment with genetic enhancements, such as resistance to cold viruses and raising intelligence. He does not offer any convincing explanation as to why certain groups of east africans dominate endurance races, and Jamaican do the same for sprints. It is facile to say that statements such as 'generally blacks are superior at sport' are false. Of course they are. But there is something to explain when only one white man (Lemaitre) has run 100m in under 10 secs. Syed's answer is 'stereotyping'. Hmm. Still, well worth reading.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Bexleyheath, United Kingdom 20/06/2011
    Ralph Bexleyheath, United Kingdom 20/06/2011 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "so much more than the title suggests"

    I saw Matthew Syed first when interviewed after Rory McRoy meltdown at Augusta Georgia. I researched his book and it certainly looked worth reading given his background as a top table tennis player who had his own meltdown at the Olympics.

    But this book goes well beyond what the title suggests. This book brings together a great deal of research which suggests that the notion of talent does not exist. As in another title called the talent myth there is a tremendous amount of research to suggest that hard work beats everything and talent is a myth created by people who play down the amount of effort they have put into achieving success.

    Having read this book and lead me on to a great many other similar piece of work which is definitely changing the way I think.

    being heavily dyslexic means I have had to work harder than most to achieve results, and this book has helped improve my self-esteem.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Walton on Thames, United Kingdom 26/04/2011
    Kevin Walton on Thames, United Kingdom 26/04/2011 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Amazing insight and blueprint to Success"

    This is an amazing audiobook. There is so much combined research to completely dispell the myth that success is based on talent.

    It made such an impact that I went to interiew the book's author, Matthew Syed.

    You can listen to it here: http://www.maximisepotential.co.uk/matthew-syed-author-of-bounce/

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaheen London, United Kingdom 10/12/2013
    Shaheen London, United Kingdom 10/12/2013 Member Since 2011
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    36
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    "Incredible, smart and valuable MUST-LISTEN book..."
    What made the experience of listening to Bounce the most enjoyable?

    Syed informs you through a cleverly blended mix of anecdotal and scientific and research based knowledge to pull apart myths about talent and success, and by association, class and race.Syed also gives you a simple clear approach to succeed at anything.


    What about James Clamp’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was really good, a solid deep and calm voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I have listened to this book a couple of times and some passages several times over.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone trying master something, teach someone or raise children should buy this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G-Montoya Everywhere! 31/10/2013
    G-Montoya Everywhere! 31/10/2013 Member Since 2011

    G-man Montoya

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining and motivating but not new"
    What made the experience of listening to Bounce the most enjoyable?

    The references to Simon's personal experiences and links to sports. I enjoyed the pace of the narration and the voice of James Clamp.


    What other book might you compare Bounce to, and why?

    There were many concepts borrowed from Blink and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. The first chapter was full of references to some of these books which made the book predictable and repetitive in part.


    Have you listened to any of James Clamp’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was inspiring and motivating in parts.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book although found it full of non original research and references to other books. If this is this is your first book in the subject then you will surely find it useful and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Hatfield, United Kingdom 19/08/2013
    Mr Hatfield, United Kingdom 19/08/2013 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great listen"
    What did you like most about Bounce?

    Loved this book. Lots of fascinating examples of the 10,000 hours theory. Some people will say this is a rehash of earlier books playing down the importance of talent but the fact the author was a professional UK table tennis player adds a whole new perspective to its insight and credibility. Only weakness was James Clamp's narration, it was clear and easy on the ear but a bit one dimensional and lacked interest for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Congresbury, United Kingdom 04/08/2013
    Adam Congresbury, United Kingdom 04/08/2013

    Casual listener of non-fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Excellent, best in its genre"
    Any additional comments?

    More persuasive and to the point than other books such as 'Mastery' which can be dry long winded and hard to relate to. A very good read for those looking into fixed and growth mindsets. Performance is British and does not take any adjusting to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR london, United Kingdom 29/07/2013
    MR london, United Kingdom 29/07/2013 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen, very interesting"

    This is a great book, full of lots of insight, a must-read for sports fans!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yasser Dublin, Ireland 25/12/2012
    Yasser Dublin, Ireland 25/12/2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    "Inspirational"

    I truly enjoyed this book. It changed the way I think about how to best approach self development. On top of it being inspirational, it was very enjoyable to listen to. It's full of entertaining real-life examples that bring home an "aha" moment in every chapter. Note that many examples in this book are taken from Malcom Gladwell's books such as the Tipping Point and Outliers. I recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    arturas WEMBLEY, United Kingdom 24/12/2012
    arturas WEMBLEY, United Kingdom 24/12/2012 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    "Brilliant!"

    Loved the whole book. Had to listen to most of the chapters a few times to let it sink in. Would recomend it to enyone who likes self help books. It was the first book I listened to on audible and so far the most interesting :)! Of course it's based on facts and if you deside to read it, do not expect only the funny stuff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Joao Coelho
    REDMOND, WA, United States
    14/06/10
    Overall
    "Very eye opening"

    Very eye opening, especially if you're new to the talent versus effort debate. The book started being a bit too close to Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers", which it quotes several times, but the 1st person experiences from the author bring a very good perspective and great examples. Very well narrated as well. Highly recommend.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    Westport, CT, United States
    25/05/10
    Overall
    "takes us beyond Outliers"

    Fabulous narration. Matthew Syed does a deeper dive into what drives talent, beyond where Gladwell took us. Well researched insights are worth plowing through some familiar ground to get there.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • V.D.
    BEAVERCREEK, OH, United States
    28/09/10
    Overall
    "great book from an essential perspective"

    the chapter on drugs felt out of place, but the rest of the book was awesome. even if you are familiar with some of the content (as i was from reading outliers and other similar books), the material in this book is more exhaustive, and Syed's perspective on the topic (as a world champion and an outlier himself) is essential to understanding topics like expert chunking (e.g. the part where he plays tennis with a pro). great book

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Peter Levius
    Prague, Czech Republic
    07/05/10
    Overall
    "One of my favorite books"

    I have been collecting Self Development books for years but I got to say this one is one of the best. It gives you a clear goal, if you want to be best in your field you need to invest 10 years or 10000 hours to hone your skills, it is not about the talent. Syed provides lot of data to support this argument and it got me to set up a new goals instantly :)

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Nothing really matters
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    19/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book about top performance"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. It explains very interesting aspects of top performances in sports and other areas. It's one of the few books I've read that discusses the phenomenon of "choking under pressure". (Come on researchers, do more research on choking.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Louann
    CHARLOTTE, NC, United States
    06/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I recommend, I enjoyed the energy of the narrator. His narratives describing the theories were excellent.


    Have you listened to any of James Clamp???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to this narrator before, but will listen again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • TravelingDentist
    North Carolina, USA
    01/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very similar to Talent is overrated and Outliers"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Tells us things we want to hear. The harder to try at something, the better you'll get. It levels the playing field. Letting us know that just about anything is within our grasp with enough practice.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the fact that he used his personal experience as a ping pong champion to illustrate the concepts in the book.


    If you could give Bounce a new subtitle, what would it be?

    There is no such thing as talent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Henry
    Chatswood, Australia
    20/06/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice overview of the things that make a champion."
    Where does Bounce rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is an interesting audiobook that I think is one of the most informative books on success and sports performance.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Matthew Syed? Why or why not?

    Possibly. Depends on the subject matter.


    What three words best describe James Clamp’s voice?

    Pleasant. Well paced.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Sweat equity makes success.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marc
    Utah USA
    10/10/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting discussion"

    I enjoyed the book and the concepts that were presented. I definitely agree with the basic concept that "practice makes perfect" but I do believe there are individuals that are born with talent. Maybe with some individuals this comes out in more interest in a particular activity or maybe it requires less talent. Either way I think the importance of practice, whether you are born with talent or not, is well emphasized.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cristiano de Carvalho Leao
    Sao Paulo, Brasil
    16/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just like the others, but still good"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bounce to be better than the print version?

    Have you ever read/listened to Talent is overrated, Outliers, etc? This book is pretty much about the same, with new stories, not so new stories and old stories, but you know what? Instead of listening again those books I preferred to purchase and listen this one and I was not disappointed. I say go ahead and have some fun.


    What did you like best about this story?

    They are inspirational.


    What about James Clamp’s performance did you like?

    Good performance, at least it did not give me yawnings.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 17 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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