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Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success Hardcover – April 20, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Syed, sportswriter and columnist for the London Times, takes a hard look at performance psychology, heavily influenced by his own ego-damaging but fruitful epiphany. At the age of 24, Syed became the #1 British table tennis player, an achievement he initially attributed to his superior speed and agility. But in retrospect, he realizes that a combination of advantages—a mentor, good facilities nearby, and lots of time to hone his skills—set him up perfectly to become a star performer. He admits his argument owes a debt to Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, but he aims to move one step beyond it, drawing on cognitive neuroscience research to explain how the body and mind are transformed by specialized practice. He takes on the myth of the child prodigy, emphasizing that Mozart, the Williams sisters, Tiger Woods, and Susan Polgar, the first female grandmaster, all had live-in coaches in the form of supportive parents who put them through a ton of early practice. 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. (May)
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“Sport is often used as an analogy for business, education, and personal relationships. In this insightful and entertaining book, Matthew Syed takes us a step deeper into the world of sports, showing us how much we can learn about our own behavior.” (Dan Ariely, New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational)
“A cutting edge dissection—and ultimate destruction—of the myth of innate talent in the pursuit of excellence. Syed synthesizes 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.” (Mark Thomas, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, University College London)
“Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke. . . . Challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.” (Jonathan Edwards, Olympic Gold Medal Winner in the Triple Jump)
“Compelling and, at times, exhilarating—Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business, and beyond.” (Michael Sherwood, Chief Executive, Goldman Sachs International)
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Top customer reviews
While The Outliers excels in its writing and infotainment value, Bounce seems more instructive. It's hard to finish Bounce and not feel like there is a lot more you could do if you just applied yourself. Syed mixes personal experience, anecdotes of others, and empirical data to hammer home the point that living with a "growth" mindset is richly rewarding.
Syed does an excellent job of explaining how some people continue to reach new thresholds in their pursuits while many others plateau early. I often give this book as a gift to nieces, nephews, and friends' children who are entering college, telling them I wish I could have read (and believed) this book when I was their age.
Highly recommended. I've already given it as a gift and will be giving out more.
I would further recommend the second book by Mathew Syed Black box thinking. The overlap is very subtle, which is rare in the self-development literature (it's often pointless to read several books by the same author).
In summary, it's fun and full of useful information.
This book goes into great detail about how a work ethic, allows ANYONE the opportunity to succeed by dispelling so many myths on why players, musicians, athletes, people in all sorts of industry become successful.
Just loved his analysis referring to countless studies and real life examples of Earl and Tiger Woods, Mozart and his father, David Beckham and his work ethic. the wonders of the Polgar Sisters in chess.
And the one common thread that one and all had to success?
Read the book and find out for yourself. You won't be disappointed. And you might even find out something about yourself in the process.
A wonderful read by a columnist for The Times (London); commentator for the BBC; a graduate of Oxford University and a two-time Olympian.
Most recent customer reviews
Not sure if I believe the overall premise