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

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  3,901 Ratings  ·  385 Reviews
In the vein of the international bestselling Freakonomics, award-winning journalist Matthew Syed reveals the hidden clues to success—in sports, business, school, and just about anything else that you’d want to be great at. Fans of Predictably Irrational and Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point will find many interesting and helpful insights in Bounce.
Paperback, Large Print, 408 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by HarperLuxe (first published April 20th 2010)
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Mar 07, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book; it appears to be the first of two books written by Matthew Syed. He is a champion table tennis player. He combines his own experience in his climb to champion status with the experiences of other champion sportsmen and celebrities, to come to some very interesting conclusions about what allows someone to excel to the top in a field. The secret, if there is one, is that circumstances arise that allow someone to start practicing and developing from a relatively ...more
Loy Machedo
Jan 21, 2012 Loy Machedo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read the title ‘Bounce’ by Matthew Syed, I was more intrigued with the name of the author than on what the book was about.

Mathew Syed - a British Journalist and Broadcaster was, as it turned out was born of a British Pakistani father and a Welsh mother. To his credentials he was a Five times Men’s Single Champion at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Champion and represented Great Britain for two Olympic Games.

His book Bounce thus turned out to be a book that focused on excellence in spo
Mark Speed
Hmm. Judging by the high ratings, some people were surprised to hear that the harder you work at stuff, the better you get. The surprise is that this is a surprise to some people.
Bounce - Matthew Syed

I read Syed got a million dollar advance for this, which made quite a few people wonder. Apparently he (or actually his agent Jonny Geller) pitched the book as the 'Freakonomics of Sport'. It got reworked along the way so it applies now to life in general, with the title getting dressed up rather late in the process. The title had listed Tiger Woods; he was dropped, and 'Bounce' was picked as a hook word for the title. I am kind of surprised they didn't decide to edit Tiger
Steve Greenleaf
I have to say that Bounce was a bit like taking a refresher course, having already read Geoff Covlin's Talent Is Overrated, Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code, and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, all three of which Syed acknowledges as worthy predecessors. So I didn't learn a great deal new from reading Bounce. But a refresher, with some new information added, is worthwhile, and so I found this book. (I should also note that all four books draw on the pioneering work of academic psychologist Anders Eri ...more
May 29, 2015 Ido rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Think They Can't
It all comes down to this: Nature VS Nurture.

צפו בסיקור בוידאו! :-)

In the everlasting fight between Nature and Nurture, Matthew
proves that it's not GENES that determines success, no, it's what
you DO with what you have and how strongly you want
it, that makes you a success.

Matthew starts off with examples from his career as a table tennis champion.
He explain that opportunities, determination, passion and
a lot of time was the factor that has distinguished him from other
table-tennis players, not ta
Dec 12, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Syed took a lot of research carried out in the field of success, especially success in sports, and compiled it into a very readable book which is all the more interesting because its author isn't a scientist, but someone who has put the science he writes about to use: He's a Table Tennis Olympian. Syed's writing style is clear and enthusiastic, and he has a lot of personal experience to brighten up the hard facts. There's a lot of eye-opening and downright useful information in the book. It's al ...more
Andrew Gray
Sep 03, 2013 Andrew Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book – should be compulsory reading all parents and teachers. It has changed the way I think about encouraging my children and work teammates – praising their efforts and hard work rather than their innate "skill". As an advisor to owner- managed businesses, I see the 10,000 hour/10 year experience rule being lived out in many ways. For example most professionals spend their 20s and early 30s mastering the technical aspects of their profession, and the next decade mastering management an ...more
Xavier Guillaume
Nov 22, 2010 Xavier Guillaume rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy reading interesting non-fiction
Shelves: non-fiction
This book redefined the way I think about talent. It breaks it down and shows how talent is derivative of countless hours of practice. In fact, with only 10,000 hours of purposeful practice you, me, or anyone can become an expert/master in whichever field they choose. Whether it's chess, archery, figure skating, or capoeira. hehe. All that practice puts the complicated processes into implicit memory. Your muscles begin to work automatically, freeing your brain to focus on expert maneuvers.

The bo
Jason Yang
Unfortunately, I really didn't like this book. Seyd tries realy hard to write a story abuot success, but it ends up being somewhere between Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Pinker - success is a combination of hard work and being fortunate with the middle ground between good nature and nurture. It's hard for me not to be biased because I've read so many of these stories that they feel like they are only rehashing the ideas of others.

I don't think success is easy, but in my own life and from the stori
Mukesh Emes
Aug 18, 2015 Mukesh Emes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 31, 2016 Sunil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read, superstars are a result of endless hours of purposeful practice. Don't take failure personally, see it as a challenge. The placebo effect is very real, use it to your advantage.
For such a short & fast read, I have a lot to say about this book. Not because the book demands or merits superabundance of personal thought, but because it touched on a few topics which I spend a great deal of thought on anyways.

Part I - I wish this was the entirety of the book. If it were, I would recommend it to every professional person, athlete, artist and student. In summary: You can achieve success in any discipline if you make it happen for yourself and put in sufficient, structured,
May 05, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly fascinating read, where Syed rips apart the talent myth from both his own personal experience (as an Olympic table tennis player) and from surveying the world of other sports, where the idea that some "heroes" have an innate talent that cannot be learned is strongest. I guarantee that if you finish this book, and if you haven't come across any of these arguments or opinions before, then you will be looking at the world, and possibly yourself, in a different way from here on in.
What make
Aug 20, 2012 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Nominated for William Hill's Sports Book of the Year in 2010, this examines the case for the hypothesis that natural talent is bunk, and practice is what makes you great. Syed is an ex table tennis player, and focuses on sport, but covers examples from anywhere he can find them, including the collapse of Enron.

This was really interesting. I basically believed in the central premise before I read it, but the amount of evidence he presents seems pretty conclusive. My favourite 'study' was a Hungar
Aug 17, 2015 Aurelien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport, self-help
What set great achievers and successful people apart from the rest? Simple: hard work and practice.

Simple as and, yet, it still is baffling to see how many still believe in 'talent' or 'genius' that is, inner and innate capabilities that one either has or doesn't! Debunking many prejudices, from child prodigies to so called sparks of creative genius, Matthew Syed here shows that success and achievement have nothing to do with genetic predispositions (talent, then) but, are down to hard work, me
Sep 29, 2014 Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: better-me, plus4
I could not resist a book written by a British ping-pong champion, you don't get many opportunities like that.

The book does a great job of putting forward the "10,000 hours or useful practice will make you good at just about anything" idea.

The surprise is there are people resist the idea.

The idea of the "natural talent" seems to have sprung from some Victorian relative of Charles Darwin.

Now why would an English upper class toff sitting atop an empire want to put forward the idea that some people
Eddy Allen
Mar 28, 2014 Eddy Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Why have all the sprinters who have run the 100 meters in under ten 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 journal
Nov 18, 2014 Alexianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book yet inconclusive.
Overall, it is pure pleasure to read as Syed, a sportsman in his own right speaks of numerous ideas and common beliefs in sports, business and life in general and dismisses the idea that talent is imperative in excellence. With the help of brilliant examples, the author dismisses this myth and advocates the scientific work of Ericsson that excellence is not reserved to the very few but is within the reach of any one of us. It centres around the famous 10,000 hours
Aug 10, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book. Well written and deeply researched. To be honest, at first I thought it was merely a clone of Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. The main premise of the book being that expertise is not derived from genetics or innate ability, but rather from practice and lots of it. In fact 10,000 hours of it. I was happy to see rather quickly that the author quickly and thoroughly acknowledges Gladwell's work. This story I thought took a rather different direction and added to the conversation of what s ...more
May 10, 2010 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vince's review: (he should really get a Goodreads account...)
Eye popping! I finished this book nearly 2 weeks ago and still, that's
my reaction when I think back over this piece of literature. Read this
book and you'll never look at top athletes, CEOs, musicians, or any
field in the same way. I couldn't put this book down; the data flowed
like a well written story; the story read like a great conversation - if
you enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, read this book!

I have to admit, when I first start
What do all of these people have in common? They are all virtuosos, masters in their fields, whether it be sports, the arts, music, etc. Many would see them as innately talented, but Matthew Syed proposes something different. A proponent of Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that talent is learned and honed through practice (about 10,000 hours to reach the levels of the elite), Syed exposes the effort involved in becoming the top tennis player, or musician. It’s the hours that they put in that really mak ...more
Mario Tomic
Nov 30, 2014 Mario Tomic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! It goes deep into the process of mastering a skill from a perspective of a world class table tennis pro who presents a mix of personal experience and scientific research. The book will teach you what form of practice actually works and what is required to achieve elite world class levels in sports, business, music, driving and pretty much anything! Besides purposeful practice the book breaks down other aspects of success such as: having quality feedback, learning from failure, en ...more
John Ege
Oct 07, 2014 John Ege rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book covers a lot of areas, same research that you'd find in other books like Outliers, Talent is Overrated, etc. but still found it a really good read. The author is an athlete (tabletop tennis Olympian), details how hard work, purposeful practice and incredible amount of time (and luck that he had a regulation tabletop in his house) contributed to his own success.

He covers familiar territory discrediting the talent myth, but also goes into how the talent myth can actually impede success
Regurgitation of Colvin and Coyle--

With a heavy spin on sports - unfortunately.

It focuses on the topic of sports without delving deep into the fascinating topic of deliberate practice and its applications in wider areas.

The first half of the book consists of direct quotes from and regurgitation of Colvin and Coyle's books and says nothing new about the alleged main subject of the book.

The only difference is that the author makes a foray into the topic of sports more than his predecessors but I f
Sheila Garry
Jan 01, 2017 Sheila Garry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so interesting and informative. It taught me how to look at athletes, "gifted" people, and high achievers in a totally different way. As the author says, these people are beneficiaries of unusual circumstances, hidden advantages, and extraordinary opportunities. Oftentimes an individual will seem to have amazing talent, but upon closer examination it will become evident that they have been practicing for years and years to hone their craft. And not just hone it but have it become s ...more
Stefan-Iulian Matzal
I've started reading this book several weeks ago and quickly went into a reading hiatus. I don't usually do this and I keep on reading a book until the bitter end even though I don't really like it but in this case it's time to call it quits. Why? This book is borrowing heavily -the author calls it research- from books like Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and the Talent Code by Daniel Coyle to the extent that one who already read them feels that this is only a rewritten regurgitation. I, for one, a ...more
May 21, 2015 Santhosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2014 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bounce's 286 pages can be summed up in a sentence: Forget about talent and put in the work.

It's a smooth read, there are plenty of footnotes, and there were a few moments when I was absorbed. Despite this, I didn't learn much.

This was similar to a long conversation with one of your smarter friends who is obsessed with sports. Unfortunately, your smart friend meanders for the last third of the conversation, suddenly stands up, and tells you he has to go without any sort of conclusion or wind do
Maciej Bliziński
Jul 01, 2016 Maciej Bliziński rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bounce made me rethink (still in progress) how I approach my day to day activities. Which ones I would like to get good at? And which ones I would just like to enjoy while passing time? Which ones I would continue to enjoy while improving my skills?

The chapter about purposeful practice is very useful for anyone playing a musical instrument.

The last chapter was a cherry on the cake: ethics of human augmentation.
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Bounce Do you think valid argument 1 12 Jun 30, 2011 12:50PM  
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“Well, it doesn’t work. Lowering standards just leads to poorly educated students who feel entitled to easy work and lavish praise.” 6 likes
“The subversive idea at the centre of Ericsson’s work is that excellence is not reserved for the lucky few but can be achieved by almost all of us.” 2 likes
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