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
"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.
"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/
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.
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.
"Excellent and Informative"
I found this audio book informative and inspiring. It was easy to apply the theory discussed in this book to my sport. Overall it made me feel motivated and inspired.
"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.
"Just what you want from a pop science book"
Entertaining, inspiring and full of cut-out-and-keep facts. A well written and action-provoking book, especially in regard to teaching, coaching and parenting.
"Interesting and thought provoking book"
I bought this in an Audible sale as I enjoy Matthew Syed's writing in "The Times" and fancied something different from the usual type of books I listen to.
I enjoyed it very much. Thought provoking, interesting and well written - better written in fact than Malcom Gladwell's best selling books on a similar theme. Two caveats though: first the author is a journalist by trade and this is reflected in both his prose style and the way he manages his material. Although his main points are convincing and well made, dont expect in depth or very probing analysis. For example, he makes the point well that great sportsmen and women must practise a great deal to succeed, but he brushes over whether this is a sufficent condition for success ie would you or I make a Wimbledon champion if we practised as long as Federer? The answer - at least in my case - is obvious, but Matthew Syed doesn't really address the point. Are there any people who have put in their 10,000 hours and not succeeded in the smallest respect? Now that would have been interesting....
My second caveat is the narration. James Clamp's style is anything but smooth, pausing as he does every time in mid sentence, and with an exaggerated regard for puncuation. Not quite in Jeremy Clarkson's league for the dramatic pause, but not far off. Someone like Simon Prebble would have made a far better job. So dock one star.
Still, all in all, most enjoyable and I'ld happily recommend the book.
I bought this expecting it to be a self-help book based on real science - it wasn't it... far from it... and thank goodness for that because I thought it was brilliant. Matthew Syed draws from his own experience as a world class athlete and those of sporting icons to gives a frank opinion as to how and why winners are created. It is an eye opener for people (like me) who are always seeking quick fixes and it allows you to look at success and steps to mastery in a skill in a refreshing way. Take a bow Mr Syed, just fantastic.
A fascinating book, particularly in its challenging of lazy assumptions and thinking, enhanced by good clear narration.
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