Everyone knows that David Beckham crosses the ball better than anyone else and that Tiger Woods never “chokes”. But what are the hidden factors which allow the most successful sports stars to rise above their competitors – and are they shared by virtuosos in other fields?
In Bounce Matthew Syed - an award-winning Times columnist and three-time Commonwealth table-tennis champion - reveals what really lies behind world-beating achievement in sport, and other walks of life besides. The answers - taking in the latest in neuroscience, psychology and economics - will change the way we look at sports stars and revolutionise our ideas about what it takes to become the best.
From the upbringing of Mozart to the mindset of Mohammed Ali - via the recruitment policies of Enron - Bounce weaves together fascinating stories and telling insights and statistics into a wonderfully thought-provoking read. Bounce looks at big questions - such as the real nature of talent, what kind of practice actually works, how to achieve motivation, drugs in both sport and life, and whether black people really are faster runners.
Along the way Matthew talks to a Hungarian father whose educational theories saw his daughters become three of the best chess players of all time, meets a female East German athlete who became a man, and explains why one small street in Reading - his own - has produced more top table-tennis players than the rest of Britain put together. Fresh, ground-breaking and tackling subjects with broad appeal, Bounce is sure to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
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Essential reading following an astounding summer of sport; if you’ve ever wondered what makes a champion, Bounce has the answer.
What are the real secrets of sporting success, and what lessons do they offer about life? Why doesn’t Tiger Woods “choke”? Why are the best figure skaters those that have fallen over the most and why has one small street in Reading produced more top table tennis players than the rest of the country put together.
Two-time Olympian and sports writer and broadcaster Matthew Syed draws on the latest in neuroscience and psychology to uncover the secrets of our top athletes and introduces us to an extraordinary cast of characters, including the East German athlete who became a man, and her husband – and the three Hungarian sisters who are all chess grandmasters. Bounce is crammed with fascinating stories and statistics.
Looking at controversial questions such as whether talent is more important than practice, drugs in sport (and life) and whether black people really are faster runners, the mind-bending Bounce is a must-read for the hardened sports nut or brand new convert.Review:
'A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer .' Owen Slot - The Times
'A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.' Michael Atherton - former England cricket captain
'I love this book. It is a must read if you have ever wondered what sets the super achievers and the rest of us apart, in any field not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was 15.' Gabby Logan - BBC TV Presenter
'A cutting edge dissection – and ultimate destruction – of the myth of innate talent in the pursuit of excellence. Syed synthesises his evidence with the precision of an academic, writes with the fluidity of a journalist and persuades with the drive of a sportsman. Read this book now – before it’s too late.' Mark Thomas - Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London
'Matthew Syed was an exceptionally fine table tennis player and he is an exceptionally fine sports writer.... In the end this book is about the human brain. It is funny and tragic, learned and urgent - the story of the extraordinary capacities we all possess, the irrationalities that drive us to succeed or fail, the opportunities we are given or miss out on.' Howard Jacobson – award-winning author of Kalooki Nights
'Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke... challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.' Jonathan Edwards - Triple Jump World Record Holder and Olympic gold medallist
'Compelling and, at times, exhilarating - Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond' Michael Sherwood - Chief Executive Goldman Sachs International
'When a book includes subject classifications as diverse as sport and outdoor recreation, Europe, mathematics and popular science, you know you’re not in for a run-of-the mill sports book. Indeed, it’s so wide-ranging that a chapter discussing motivation assesses strategies for understanding educational achievement, morphs onto an examination of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy and ends with an analysis of Enron’s hiring and promotion strategies (yes, really)... It’s impressively researched, forcefully argued and... extraordinarily interesting and thought-provoking.’ The Bookseller
'Everything Matthew Syed writes is worth reading' Lynne Truss, best-selling author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves
'Cogent discussions of the neuroscience of competition, including the placebo effect of irrational optimism, self-doubt, and superstitions, all lend credence to a compelling narrative; readers who gobbled up Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational will flock to this one.' Publishers Weekly
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Book Description Harper, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110062004743