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Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success | [Matthew Syed]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

p>PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.


©2010 Matthew Syed (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (246 )
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4.3 (133 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joao Coelho 06-14-10
    Joao Coelho 06-14-10

    Factor Jota

    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
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    18
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    "Very eye opening"

    Very eye opening, especially if you're new to the talent versus effort debate. The book started being a bit too close to Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers", which it quotes several times, but the 1st person experiences from the author bring a very good perspective and great examples. Very well narrated as well. Highly recommend.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 05-25-10
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 05-25-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    669
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    477
    368
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    "takes us beyond Outliers"

    Fabulous narration. Matthew Syed does a deeper dive into what drives talent, beyond where Gladwell took us. Well researched insights are worth plowing through some familiar ground to get there.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V.D. BEAVERCREEK, OH, United States 09-28-10
    V.D. BEAVERCREEK, OH, United States 09-28-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great book from an essential perspective"

    the chapter on drugs felt out of place, but the rest of the book was awesome. even if you are familiar with some of the content (as i was from reading outliers and other similar books), the material in this book is more exhaustive, and Syed's perspective on the topic (as a world champion and an outlier himself) is essential to understanding topics like expert chunking (e.g. the part where he plays tennis with a pro). great book

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-19-13
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-19-13 Member Since 2014

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book about top performance"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. It explains very interesting aspects of top performances in sports and other areas. It's one of the few books I've read that discusses the phenomenon of "choking under pressure". (Come on researchers, do more research on choking.)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Levius Prague, Czech Republic 05-07-10
    Peter Levius Prague, Czech Republic 05-07-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favorite books"

    I have been collecting Self Development books for years but I got to say this one is one of the best. It gives you a clear goal, if you want to be best in your field you need to invest 10 years or 10000 hours to hone your skills, it is not about the talent. Syed provides lot of data to support this argument and it got me to set up a new goals instantly :)

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TravelingDentist North Carolina, USA 06-01-14
    TravelingDentist North Carolina, USA 06-01-14

    They say leaders are readers. Hopefully audiobooks count!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very similar to Talent is overrated and Outliers"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Tells us things we want to hear. The harder to try at something, the better you'll get. It levels the playing field. Letting us know that just about anything is within our grasp with enough practice.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the fact that he used his personal experience as a ping pong champion to illustrate the concepts in the book.


    If you could give Bounce a new subtitle, what would it be?

    There is no such thing as talent.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louann CHARLOTTE, NC, United States 02-06-12
    Louann CHARLOTTE, NC, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Loved it"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I recommend, I enjoyed the energy of the narrator. His narratives describing the theories were excellent.


    Have you listened to any of James Clamp???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to this narrator before, but will listen again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dalia Karmon ann arbor MI USA 07-25-15
    Dalia Karmon ann arbor MI USA 07-25-15 Member Since 2015

    DK

    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Some parts are super interesting while others not strongly connected"

    All in all it was enlightening and interesting and made me think on how to raise my kids.

    I recommended it already.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andreas 07-14-15
    Andreas 07-14-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Very informative book"

    Very useful information if you want to know about factors that could inhibit your success in general.

    We make our minds believe things that aren't true in todays society with all the made up rules that people have about how the world is, what is good and bad, etc.
    This book clears up a lot of things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shizmac 05-11-15
    shizmac 05-11-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
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    "Eye opener"

    Exceptional read. Very entertaining, my second audiobook and I'm on a good role here. The narrator is very good I wish I could somehow get a list of the books he has narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Judy Corstjens
    9/6/12
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. R. D. Cox
    London
    6/20/11
    Overall
    "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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Yateley, United Kingdom
    7/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great listen"

    There aren't many books that I'd listen to straight away once I'd finished, but this is definitely one. Excellent subject matter and insights into science and psychology behind some of the greatest sporting heroes of our time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Katie
    7/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very insightful and thought provoking!"

    As someone who is deeply interested in sport and naturally the recipe for success, this book is an incredible listen which goes beyond anything I've heard before using data to back up the case for meaningful practice being of greater importance than physical talent. Great use of real life scenarios make Matthew Syed's arguments deeply compelling, and well worth your consideration!
    A great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trudy
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A slow start...."

    I'm finding this quite a hard book to get into - although, after looking at reviews, I think I should persevere!!
    I don't find the narrators voice very captivating. I think it may be a better book to read than listen to as I have dipped into various sections that have been more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Petros
    6/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, good performance"

    Great book with a lot of references in interesting case studies and experiments to prove its main theory about success. A thought provoking and inspiring audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joshwright10
    5/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must Read!"

    The first part of the books just seems like common sense that people ignore on a day to day basis. I would strongly recommend this for any young parents or soon to be parents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mike
    4/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The first half was interesting."

    The first half of the book was interesting. However barring the last chapter on genetics and sport, the rest of the book was a let down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Turkeybawz
    2/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A decent listen(audiobook)"

    Having read malcolm gladwells outliers was keen to find out syeds take on the issue. A decent explanation though nothing greatly new from outliers.

    In agreement with the concept that true effort and work at gaining knowledge as the most important thing but think it does downplay the role of genetics somewhat. Too much is placed on genetics but it's undeniable that myself as a 5 7" white man was never going to play in the NBA no matter the graft and effort

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kalin
    Aberdeen
    2/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply great!"

    The book is a comprehensive explanation of the various factors which contribute to or hinder superior performance. Well researched and wonderfully narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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