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

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,604 ratings  ·  308 reviews
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
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Loy Machedo
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
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
Mukesh Emes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2015 Ido rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Xavier Guillaume
Feb 10, 2012 Xavier Guillaume rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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
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
John Ege
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
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.
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
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
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
Eddy Allen

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
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
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
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,

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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sanjay Gupta
After you read this book, you'll think a thousand times before making statements like “How talented that guy is; excellence is in his genes.” Or, “Oh, she's such a gifted child – no wonder she won the figure skating championship.”

Matthew Syed (himself a Commonwealth table tennis champion) bursts several myths and lays down the principles associated with extraordinary achievement: the popular but ill-conceived idea of talent as a mystic, elusive thing; the myth of the child prodigy (Mozart, Tiger
Saket Mathur
BOUNCE is a great book which successfully delves into one of the great questions that everybody has around how to become a legendary sport star. It breaks the myth around what is perceived to be the reason behind being success in sports i.e. God Gift.

In very simple words Matthew has explained how "purposeful practice" can bring success to anybody who desires. The number of narratives he has provided in this book reinforces the fact that it is only sheer dedication and purposeful practice that ha

The short title of the book does not provide hints of the message of the book - debunking the general belief that talent is the king and providing examples and analysis of purposeful practice, internalized motivation and growth mindset are more instrumental for success.

Numerous famous people such as Mozart, Pisasso, Beckham and so on go were quoted in the book. Their success is not because they are a genuis though as frist glimpse. They endured long long long hours of dedicated and purpose
Rosa Frei
A wonderful motivational book for everybody aspiring success in any area of human endeavour.

The author first eliminates any believe in the myth of talent and the talent gene, based on many examples and scientific research explaining that success is based on hard work and practice. But that's not all. Many people work hard but still don't reach excellency and success. Additional to working hard and practice for an average of 10 years to reach excellency and success, it is important to practice s
Gavin Smith
The first half of Bounce is popular (sports) science writing at its best. When Matthew Syed attacks the 'Talent Myth', his prose is energetic and exhilarating. He does a wonderful job of exposing the false beliefs that lead too many people to conclude that they are simply just not capable of performing certain tasks and how damaging this idea is to individuals and society. It also becomes clear just how ingrained these ideas are and how easy it is to unwittingly reinforce them. The examples he g ...more
Masatoshi Nishimura
The authoer, Matthew Syed is an olympic table tennis athlete from UK. That fact itself boosts its credibility. The theme was straight forward: what it takes to be a new player. The message was not so much new, that he even mentioned many concepts were borrowed from Malcom's "Outlier" and a psychologist Anders Ericsson. Nevertheless, he carries on with many examples and proving why they are true, until you are fully convinced of those theories.
Karen Grothe
Interesting book about how practice creates world-class expertise/ability, not "talent". The author makes a good case for how emphasis on "talent" (which is usually seen as genetic, or something one is born with) can create disincentives for people to improve, while an emphasis on how hard someone has worked for something encourages people to continue to improve. One interesting example in the book which applies to business is how Enron had a culture emphasizing talent over domain expertise whic ...more
Because I have read Outliers, The Talent Code, Brain Rules and the Power of Habit, a lot of what is referenced here is material I've read previously. That said, the book is interesting. I liked his personal take on some of the concepts. Felt like discussion near the end about doping in sports and genetic doping was really interesting and could probably warrant a book all by itself...
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Bounce Do you think valid argument 1 11 Jun 30, 2011 12:50PM  
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Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success Black Box Thinking Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success--and Why Some People Never Learn from Their Mistakes Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth about Success Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do

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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.” 2 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.” 1 likes
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