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Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success Kindle Edition
About the Author
A two-time Olympian and a graduate of Oxford University, Matthew Syed is a columnist for The Times (London), a commentator for the BBC, and a recipient of the British Press Award for Sports Journalist of the Year, and was named British Sports Feature Writer of the Year by the Sports Journalists' Association.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B003F1WMDO
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (April 2, 2010)
- Publication date : April 2, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 564 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 410 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #218,727 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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his head, attempting to turn the undeniable black athletic talent based on a pernicious racial prejudice not supported by science. Blacks are successful in sports because a racist society denies their advancement in any other area, he states. Yet, even in the last chapter, he swings from Eastern Africa, where a small area seems to have an unusually large number of champion long-distance runners, to West Africa and Jamaica where the short distance and sprinter talent is noticeable. Oh, yes, there is a gene, but everybody has the same gene. So what now?
I think he is going way overboard with the notion that genetics has nothing to do with any success; it is more of a lucky combination of thousands of hours of purposeful practice with a great coach, under the right circumstances, and a useful feedback loop. The nature argument is seemingly destroyed by the nurture argument. But, he seems to try too hard.
For example, how many short champion swimmers are out there? How many tall jockeys? How many tall motorcycle racers? Just the genetic distribution of fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers have an immense impact on the type of success and athlete could achieve in different areas. Then there is the rich culture and advanced schooling of young Russian chess players. If anything, this symbolizes everything Syed advocates sans doping. Yet, the world champion is a Norwegian without any unique background or specific training like the Polgar sisters. Before him, it was an Indian player, also without any significant training infrastructure.
So enjoy the read, but know that genetics still matters.
The book raises an interesting debate on nature v nurture, where recent recent scientific thinking seems to lean towards the former. However, if we assume that most of us will not end up being the Einstein or Williams of our profession, I think Mr. Syed raises a simple yet profound question: What is “deliberate practice” in your job?
Highly recommended. I've already given it as a gift and will be giving out more.
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.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
On the whole, I felt it to be an easy read and laid out in a logical manner; my only quibble in this sense arrived at towards the end of the book, with its discussion of race as a factor in success - or failure. I think that this is an important discussion, but I am doubtful of its positioning in the book - it feels like an addendum or an afterthought, not quite integrated into the general flow of the arguments.
Why four stars, not five? I am fairly strongly of the view that 'nurture' is the deciding factor in development in most things, but I'm not willing to dismiss 'nature' out of hand - I think it is probably illogical to deny that physiology might play a role in certain arenas, and so on, and likewise to deny that some physiological features might be 'natural'. As such, I find the author's complete dismissal of these factors to be a little problematic; to my mind, it would be a more interesting read if this were more comprehensively addressed.
Syed is clearly a fan of Malcolm Gladwell and references Gladwell’s book Outliers several times. Having read Gladwell’s David and Goliath, but not Outliers, I’m tempted to assume that most of Gladwell’s books are pretty same-y. There’s definitely a certain amount of overlap between Bounce and David and Goliath.
Not necessarily a bad thing. Syed is trying to make a point that many others have made in the past. In spite of being backed by strong evidence it’s a point that continues to be ignored. The point is that talent is a bit of a myth, that experts are good at what they do because they’ve worked hard at it.
It makes sense. There’s no evidence for a gene that encodes for being good at running, or good at playing piano, or good at acting, or anything. Whereas there are countless examples of people being surprisingly good at something, only for it to turn out not to be so surprising after all, when you discover that they’ve been working at it for years.
Having come across this before I didn’t find the book to be revelatory. However, it is one I strongly recommend, whether to people who have already accepted this idea, or to people who have never heard it before. I recommend it because the idea that practise is the only way to guarantee excellence is as important as it is motivating. Syed manages to make it uplifting as well.
It’s uplifting because if you’re good at something it’s because you earned it. If you’re not good at something yet it’s because you haven’t yet practised enough but you know that you can be one day if you keep trying. That’s great for motivation. It’s great for reminding you that you might not be perfect, but you’re better than you were six months ago. It stops you from wanting to give up when things get tough.
So yeah, read it. It’s very readable non-fiction that made me want to go out and get good at things.
I do disagree with the stance of finding a compromise with drug cheats/dopers. Maybe the was to get them out of the sport is a long struggle, but I belive by making an example of as many as possible might get a message across.
A good all round book. Well researched and well written. I think the fact that Matthew has a background in journalism the research and references are on point. The most important point for me is if you work hard enough you can achieve what you set your mind to.
Bounce is the first of a couple of books Syed has written and I must say he doesn't disappoint in either. Both Bounce and Black Box Thinking are essential reading if you are keen to delve into psychology and especially sports psychology.
Bounce touches upon many myths that souround talent and the notion of natural born talent. I was hugely impressed with the 10,000 hour theory of purposeful practice and how it's been put to the test.
In all an absolutely fascinating book that I simple couldn't put down!