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.p>PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2010 Matthew Syed (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
Judith Corstjens Author of: Xtensity, Why 5% of Dieters Succeed; Storewars: The Battle for Mindspace and Shelfspace; Strategic Advertising
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.
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.
I have enjoyed Black Box Thinking by the same author so thought I'd give this book a go.
I couldn't get over how similar it is to Malcom Gladwell, covering the same topics, but most frustratingly using the same stories and examples.
The above, coupled with a narrator I couldn't enjoy listening to means a refund was requested. Gladwell is a much better listen and much more interesting.
Shame, because I did enjoy Black Box Thinking.
I'm finding this quite a hard book to get into - although, after looking at reviews, I think I should persevere!!
I don't find the narrators voice very captivating. I think it may be a better book to read than listen to as I have dipped into various sections that have been more interesting.
The first part of the books just seems like common sense that people ignore on a day to day basis. I would strongly recommend this for any young parents or soon to be parents.
Having read malcolm gladwells outliers was keen to find out syeds take on the issue. A decent explanation though nothing greatly new from outliers.
In agreement with the concept that true effort and work at gaining knowledge as the most important thing but think it does downplay the role of genetics somewhat. Too much is placed on genetics but it's undeniable that myself as a 5 7" white man was never going to play in the NBA no matter the graft and effort
An audiobook junkie!!! I listen to anything and everything... From Scott Sigler to Seth Godin.
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/
As a professional athlete and successful scientist, I can say nothing achieve unless one works hard for it! (10 years being the #1 in my home coutry from when I was 14, with loosing any matches! it was hard work and dedication)
I don't think any book has ever changed how I see certain things so significantly like this book.
The simplicity of the message, but yet the power of it was astonishing. I have already integrated concepts of this book in my daily life!
"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.
"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.
"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
"Great book about top performance"
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.)
"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 :)
"Very similar to Talent is overrated and Outliers"
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.
I love the fact that he used his personal experience as a ping pong champion to illustrate the concepts in the book.
There is no such thing as talent.
Yes I recommend, I enjoyed the energy of the narrator. His narratives describing the theories were excellent.
I have not listened to this narrator before, but will listen again.
"Very easy to follow"
Didn't have to rewind a lot to understand material. Was so in to the book that I thought the ending short changed me.
"Talent doesn't exist"
For those who believe that someone is born with talent they should really read this book.
Syed easily dismantles the idea that successful people are born talented.
"Half a Good Book"
The author runs out of good ideas half way through the book. There are some really interesting studies and concepts in the opening chapters but it is difficult to say it was worth a full purchase. Maybe rent from a library if given the chance or just read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
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